Jeff Pearl Homes AR Blog: Firewood, Fireplaces, Woodstoves and Chimneys

Firewood, Fireplaces, Woodstoves and Chimneys

 Seems like every year someone asks me where they can get some good seasoned firewood. There are a few honest wood sellers in this area who have stockpiled some wood. It's usually seasoned less than 6 months if they sold out last winter, and then cut some wood during summer months to sell this winter. I tell people who I think has good wood, but also tell them they need to look at it. You can usually tell if it's seasoned by the weight, the color, and the bark. You can also usually tell what type of wood it is by the bark.

 Most people prefer hardwoods, like oak and locust. Other woods are ok like maple, cherry, and hackberry. Some gum burns ok if seasoned, but puts off less heat. So if your just buying wood to have a fire now and then in your fireplace, you don't need to be too picky about the type of wood, but you do want to make sure it's seasoned. Also, get some loose bark and / or dry twigs to use for kindling.

 If you use wood for heat, and you plan to buy a full cord or more, you'll want to shop around for seasoned hardwoods. Using wood that's not seasoned puts off less heat, and also can cause your chimney to get dirty faster. When creosote builds up in your chimney, the chances of a chimney fire increase.

 Also, many people don't realize how much wood is in a cord. Some dealers will try to sell wood using terms like: rack, rick, load, face cord, pickup load, etc. You should only measure wood by cord or cubic feet. The length of the wood shouldn't matter unless you have a small wood stove. So if you need a cord custom cut to 14" long pieces because you bought a small woodstove or have a Rumford fireplace, expect to pay extra. But if you can use pieces from 16" to 24", a cord will measure 4' x 4' x 8'. That equals 128 cubic feet. And it should be stacked, not thrown in.

 Like everything, it could pay to shop around. Ask you neighbors where they got their wood.

Most wood will come split, but it's ok to get and burn round like you see in this photo. Usually, over 6" in diameter gets split, under 6" will be round. As long as it's dry and seasoned, it will burn and generate heat!


Jeff Pearl | Lic in VA

Remax Distinctive


Homes | Land | Farms | Historic

Equal Housing

Comment balloon 13 commentsJeff Pearl • October 22 2015 06:06AM


Few wood cutters have a full supply of seasoned wood a year in advance.   A private seller is more likely to.


Stove cord...4' x 8' x 16 inches

Full cord....4' x 4'x 8'

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) about 5 years ago

#1- Hi William, most of the sellers around here are private 1 or 2 man operations.

Posted by Jeff Pearl, Full Service Full Time Realtor (RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA) about 5 years ago

Jeff- you know I never knew about how to buy wood for fireplaces.  Our home we had in Northern VA had the gas burning fireplaces so we never had the opportunity for a real fire!

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 5 years ago


                 Thanks Jeff Pearl for my Ah-ha moment. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 5 years ago

Thank you for the great tips. I  will share this post with others.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 5 years ago

Good Sunday morning Jeff Pearl -

I've learned something new from your post.  Our area has mostly gas fireplaces due to so many no burn times and air quality control.  Never too old to learn something new!   

Posted by John McCormack, CRS, Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me! (Albuquerque Homes Realty) about 5 years ago

Funny you should mention this, I am in need of an axe to split some wood at my cabin, well seasoned finally. 

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) about 5 years ago

I hadn't heard the term "rick" in years - now I'll have to look it up and see how many ricks are in a cord. 

In our area we don't have the species you mentioned. Buckskin Tamarack is the firewood of choice. After that, Fir and Larch. Some prefer Birch, especially for the fireplace. 

So how much does it cost? Cut and delivered here this fall has been around $200 a cord - less if you're willing to burn Pine. 

Thankfully, my husband spends most of the summer getting in our supply. In fact, he's already started on next year's wood. 

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) about 5 years ago

#3 & #4 , Hi Kathy, We use mostly propane, but when power goes out, it's nice to have some ready to burn wood on hand. Thanks!

#5- Hi Gita, Thanks you!

#6- Hi John, I suppsoe it's good that not all areas burn wood. i can see where smog might be a problem now and then. Thanks.

#7- Hi Karen, it's about time to start cutting and splitting! ( and checking flues and chimneys)

#8- Hi Marte, the mountain men around here still use the "rick" lingo. One cord should cost around $180.-- to $200.00 split and delivered. Some charge a little extra if they have to wheel it around to the back yard and stack it. No one wants or burns pine usually.

Posted by Jeff Pearl, Full Service Full Time Realtor (RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA) about 5 years ago

There are only two firewood sellers that I know of around my area. We mostly use our fireplaces for ambiance not for heat so we don't need that many suppliers. 

Posted by Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert, Broker/Owner of Zion Realty (Zion Realty) about 5 years ago

Great information, Jeff. Lots of wood-cutters around here. Getting good seasoned dry wood is the challenge.

Posted by Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) about 5 years ago

#10- Hi Nicole, Many do that around here as well, but a good % use wood or pellet stoves.

#11- Hi Mike, Yep, I think Loudoun, Clarke, and Frederick homeowners use wood when they can get it. Getting seasoned can be hard, especially late in the season. Thanks


Posted by Jeff Pearl, Full Service Full Time Realtor (RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA) about 5 years ago

Good stuff Jeff.  Be careful of the guys on the pick up truck, at least around here.  The wood isn't dried and they cross stack a pile (not like the stack in your photo) and call it a "cord!"

Also, the harder the wood, the hotter it burns, and therefore the less creosote build up fire to fire.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago