If you have purchased firewood before then you would know that there are some special jargons that firewood distributors use. These terms seem very weird like cord, face cord, throw and rick with the cord being the most commonly used.
But what do all these mean? How much is a cord or a rick of wood?
This guide will show you how much a face cord is and how to get more value out of your purchases.
The basic unit measurement of firewood is a cord, however; this can be used in a variety of ways according to regions or locations.
One full cord is a large amount of wood. This measures four feet high by four feet wide by eight feet long with a volume of 128 cubic feet. The number of solid wood found in a cord depends on the size of the different pieces of wood and firewood averages about 85 cubic feet. With this in mind, most of the cord volume is made of air.
When you say a ‘full’ cord (4′ x 4′ x 8′), this is an official, standard firewood measure. However, four-foot pieces are not actually used to heat fireplaces or wood-burning stoves. Even firewood dealers do not sell firewood in this size. You can see now why it is confusing to buy firewood! It is not even offered in its official unit of measurement!
Another measure to consider is one-third of a full cord which has pieces that are 16 inches long. Still, other terms like face cord, stove cord or furnace cord are used to describe a pile of wood that measures 4 ft. high and 8 ft. long with a piece length that is shorter than 4 ft. The most common piece length is 16 inches or one-third of a full cord, however, other lengths are also available for sale.
How much should be your budget when buying firewood?
A winter’s supply can cost several hundred dollars, therefore, you must never be caught off guard when you are buying firewood. Take your time and compare the prices of a face cord of wood from different suppliers. Use a tape measure as you personally check firewood prices. Measure the average piece length and compare.
If the dealer does not price firewood in the standard full cord measure, take the price and convert it to the price of a cord. If possible, do not buy firewood in units that cannot be related to the standard full cord.
Take note that station wagon loads, pick-up truck loads and throw loads are very difficult to compare therefore you other units are difficult to compare and can have a higher price per cord of wood.
If possible, buy firewood personally and avoid calling for firewood from the phone. Unless you are ordering from a reliable supplier, you must do all you can to purchase firewood from the lumber yard. This way you will be able to know how much wood you are buying.
You must also remember the following when buying firewood from a lumberyard:
- Avoid wood with shorter lengths because these usually cost more due to more cutting and handling.
- You may have to pay more for drier wood because these have has been stored longer and under the best drying conditions.
- Cleaner firewood is more valuable. Dirty wood has sand or mud from the bark and these can affect the way firewood is used.
- Choose firewood cut in consistent lengths. This is more convenient to use but may cost more because of the greater attention to detail when cutting or shaping.
- Wood from finely split pieces usually cost more per cord due to increased labor or work done on each piece.
The price of a face cord of wood depends on many factors. You must understand how to buy wood by the cord or face cord to get more value out of your money. Understand how buying firewood works and how you can buy firewood for the best price when you personally visit a supplier’s yard.