Am I Paying Too Much? How Much Should a Cord of Wood Cost?

Have you ever bought something, only to see it on the shelf at another store down the road for half the price?

When buying firewood, it’s even easier to pay more than you should because you don’t go to a store with advertised prices in their sale flyers. Don’t pay more for a cord of wood than it’s worth!

Read on for help discovering exactly what firewood is worth.

How Much Does A Cord of Wood Cost?

That depends whether you use your own chainsaw to cut the wood and haul it yourself, or whether you purchase a cord from someone else who did the work. Ultimately, cutting your own wood will save you big bucks, but don’t forget to include the price of your saw when you calculate startup costs.

We’ll show you exactly how to calculate how much a cord of wood should cost.

Purchasing Wood

If you want to purchase a cord of wood, you need to know if it is a full cord before you pay full price.

How many pieces of wood in a cord, you ask? Typically cords are measured by cubic feet, not pieces. This cord of wood calculator makes it easy, but if you prefer to do the math yourself, just calculate the number of cubic feet in your stack.

A full cord is 128 cubic feet

As long as the wood is stacked neatly (“ranked and well stowed”), according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Uniform Laws and Regulations, a full cord is 128 cubic feet. Anything less is usually called a face cord or a kitchen cord.

Generally, wood is stacked in 4-foot by 8-foot “ricks”. In order to be a full cord, the length of the pieces must also measure 4 feet. However, most of the wood you’ll find for sale has been cut to 16 inches in length. This is to make it easier to fit in a fireplace.

Remember, measure the cubic feet

If a rank is 4 feet by 8 feet, but the pieces are only 16 inches long, it ends up being only about 48 cubic feet. A third the size of a normal cord. Sixteen inches is a great length for burning. But to be a full cord (of the above standard dimensions) it has to measure 128 cubic feet.

The price varies from state to state. In Missouri, typically a customer might pay anywhere from $70 to $120 for a full cord. But it can even cost up to $225 or more for a full cord. Especially if it has already been cut.

In the Know

Here’s a tip for finding out a seller has a full cord in their rick. Pace off the length of the cord (if you know how long your stride is), or take a tape measure with you. You can measure exactly what the dimensions are, and calculate the cubic feet before you make your purchase.

If the wood has been cut and split already, you might expect to pay more than you would pay for neatly stacked logs in a rick. This is because of the increased labor.

When you decide it’s too much money, and you would like to save by cutting your own wood, we have the perfect guide to get you started – happy chainsawing!

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