When it comes to storing firewood, it is hard to beat a well designed and well located firewood shed. But there are some common mistakes people make when building a firewood storage shed that they often regret. Here are a few tips that will help you avoid these mistakes.
The purpose of a wood shed is not only just a place to put your firewood, it should be designed to dry the wood, and keep it dry. Many people assume that having a roof over the wood is all you need for that. But a roof is only half of the equation. The commonly missed feature in a wood shed is air circulation. In order for wood to dry, it needs to have plenty of air flow to carry the moisture away from it. Without good air flow, wet wood will take longer to dry and can even start to grow mold and fungus.
If you only put dry wood in your shed, and have a good roof that will keep the wood dry, ventilation is less important. Often times it is better to dry wood outside in the direct sun and then put it in the shed. I encourage people to have two years supply of firewood on hand. One years supply dry and in the shed or other dry place, and next years supply outside drying.
If you dry your wood in a shed, having open walls will greatly help with air circulation. If possible, have the sunny side of the shed open so the sun will shine directly on the wood. This would be the south side for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, and the north side for our friends in Australia and the rest of the Southern Hemisphere.
It can save you a lot of work by choosing the right location for your wood storage shed. The sunnier and windier the location the better, to help with drying. Also choose a place that is convenient. If possible, choosing a place where a delivery truck can back right up to it will save you a lot of work. Of course with some homes, this just isn’t a possibility. When you have to haul every piece from the truck to the shed with a wheelbarrow or by hand, it makes heating with firewood a lot more work than it needs to be.
Also think about convenience of bringing wood from the shed into the house to burn it. This will likely be in cold, and maybe wet or snowy weather. Think about how convenient the location will be for bringing the wood in and what the path you will have to take will be like at that time of year.
Firewood piles can attract pests like mice rats and snakes. Snakes aren’t always a pest, a lot of them will eat the rats and mice. But running into a rattlesnake in your wood pile isn’t always the most fun. I know, since I have done this more than once. Building your shed in a way that seals out these critters can be a good idea. The problem is doing it in a way that still allows air ventilation. If keeping pests out is important to you, you may want to cover the openings with screen or wire mesh.
Check with local regulators for zoning regulations and recommendations for building building firewood sheds and firewood storage. Some areas require firewood to be stored a certain distance from a home or other structure because of the possible fire hazard.