Firewood Prices, Prices on Firewood...
How much should you pay?
The answer to the firewood prices debate is that it all depends. You need to determine exactly what you want before you can ascertain a fair price.
The old adage "you get what you pay for" applies here. There are many different factors to consider when ordering firewood. What size is the firewood? How much are you ordering? Will it be delivered? Green or seasoned?
All of these questions must be answered before you can determine how much you will pay and if that is a fair deal.
Factors that affect cost
The amount that you order will affect firewood prices. Just like any other item that you order, purchasing in bulk will save you money.
An extreme example of this would be comparing a full cord of firewood to a shrink wrapped bundle at the gas station. Depending on market conditions, you could expect to spend about $300 on a full cord of seasoned firewood. Comparatively, a tiny bundle of 4 or 5 pieces of firewood at the gas station could cost you upwards of $8.00. Extrapolate that cost to a full cord and you'll quickly realize that you shouldn't buy too much firewood from the gas station.
The same rules apply, albeit more subtley, in buying a fraction of a cord compared to a full cord.
Size of Firewood
The size of the firewood that you order will also affect prices on firewood. Depending on your preferences and the needs of your woodstove, you will want a particular length of firewood. The standard size that many people use is 16" or 18" in length.
However, many stoves will only take pieces of wood 14" or smaller. Or perhaps you prefer to have your firewood split into smaller pieces than the average user. If that is the case, the firewood company will have to spend more time preparing that wood.
The bottom line is that companies will pass on their operating costs to the consumer in the end. Therefore, if they have to spend more time processing and handling the firewood, expect to pay more for the product.
Green vs. Seasoned Firewood
Seasoned wood is always going to cost more than green or freshly cut firewood. The reason for this is simple, they have to store the wood for a long period of time before it is seasoned. This takes up space in the wood yard and requires a company to put money up front to process and buy the wood without seeing a quick profit.
You should pay somewhere in the ballpark of 30-35% less when ordering green firewood compared to seasoned.
Many firewood companies also offer firewood delivery. Firewood prices could be a little higher for this service. Although, many companies factor these costs into their pricing structure and do not charge extra for delivery. For a company like that, if you have the resources to pick the wood up yourself, consider offering and ask if they offer a discount.
Don't forget to consider your proximity to the company. Generally speaking, most places have an area where they will deliver. In you don't live in their normal delivery area, don't be surprised to pay a little extra for the additional trucking costs that they incur.
Market conditions will also determine firewood prices. When the price of oil goes up, firewood will likely do the same. Partly because of higher operating costs but also because demand of firewood is higher.
Take into consideration where you live. I live in New England where the forest is in abundance. But what if I lived in the desert and wanted to have the occasional campfire at night. See a difference there??? Scarcity is always a possible factor.
Some companies will stack your firewood for an additional fee. Obviously, they have to charge you more money for this service. Give them a break, they have to feed their kids!
Over the years working as an arborist, I've been asked for some odd requests. Depending on the request, I'll usually accomodate that client as long as I'm being paid for my time. It's no different in the firewood business, just realize that more service means more money.
Use common sense when looking at firewood prices. If something seems to good to be true, it probably is!
Right now, in the Northeastern US, you can expect to pay between $250-$350 per cord of quality seasoned and delivered firewood. Remember....you get what you pay for.
I strongly recommend you buy from a reputable company. It takes all the guesswork out of the process and you can focus on more important things. If you haven't already seen my
firewood suppliers page
, please check it out before ordering. It will save you time, money and aggravation.
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