So what's the price of firewood?
How much should it cost and what should you expect to pay?
Well, the answer is.......it depends.
I know it's probably not the concrete answer you're looking for but there are several factors that determine how much you might pay for firewood this winter.
The general rule of supply and demand can have a big impact on how much you pay for firewood.
It's pretty common for everyone to look for firewood right before the weather turns cold.
During these peak times firewood suppliers can sell good quality seasoned firewood at premium prices.
To help find firewood at a cheaper price, consider buying it in the spring or early summer before the rush.
Your geographic location can also have an effect on the price.
Do you live in a heavily wooded area where firewood is easy to come by?
If so the price of firewood may be more affordable.
Firewood is typically sold by the cord which is 128 cubic feet.
The wood can be stacked in any shape but it's usually stacked 4' wide x 4' tall x 8' long.
Here in northern Michigan, the price for a cord of split, seasoned hardwood will cost around $120-$180.
The quality of the wood depends on the supplier.
At my house, we normally cut our own firewood to help save money.
However, I'm always on the lookout for a good deal.
Your local paper, Craigslist and other internet sites can be great places to find low priced firewood.
If you’re looking for inexpensive or cheap firewood, it’s important to first remember that inexpensive isn’t always a good thing.
Just because you might be able to find firewood for pennies on the dollar, it doesn’t mean that’s the best deal.
Sometimes, firewood is cheap because it's green or because it was cut from trees that aren’t the best for firewood.
Occasionally you may find people trying to short you by selling you less than a full cord too, although this is fortunately, not as common as you might think.
Otherwise, there are several places you can look for good deals on firewood.
For example, looking in your local area is a great place to start (as opposed to having firewood trucked in from far away or buying it at big stores like WalMart).
In addition to being less expensive due to lower (or nonexistent) trucking costs, this kind of firewood is also more desirable in that you don’t have to worry about it harboring invasive pests.
You can also check in with crews who work clean up duty after a large storm.
Often, they’ll have all kinds of wood that they’re looking to offload.
The same goes for local tree trimming companies and construction companies.
You can even check with local sawmills to see if they have any logs that they want to get rid of - ones that aren’t good for sawing into lumber.
Of course, if you’re really desperate, you could always use old wooden pallets for firewood - but exercise extreme caution if you decide to do this.
Pallets can be filled with nails and are often made out of pressure treated lumber - which means there are some serious chemicals involved.
You won’t want to get involved with these nasty chemicals if you don’t have to!
Last year, I bought seasoned red oak cut, split and delivered to my house for $100 a cord.
I found it for sale on Craigslist.
To me, this was a pretty good deal.
Does this mean everyone can buy firewood at this price?
In some areas, the average price can be $200, $300 or even more per cord.
The best way to shop for firewood is to understand the average price for your area and use that as a starting point.
Once you know the average price of firewood, a deal will be easy to spot!
Cord costs will vary around the nation, subject to all kinds of variables that can affect the overall cost, such as location, time of year, and the type of firewood.
In general, you can expect to pay anywhere between $120 and $180 for a cord of hardwood firewood that has been split and seasoned.
Of course, this is merely an average - some people will pay more, particularly at the height of winter.
Some people in urban areas pay more than $400 per cord because firewood is so tricky to come by!
The price of firewood will vary depending on the time of year as well as where you are buying.
If you want the best prices, buy in the early spring.
This will likely fetch you lower prices due to supply and demand - fewer people are panic buying firewood to help get them through the cold winter months.
Plus, there’s another benefit to buying firewood in the spring.
If you buy it in early spring, you’ll have plenty of time (six months or more) to allow it to sit out and season by the end of the fall.
Remember, to season your firewood, you should place it in a location where the sun can warm it and wind can blow through.
Stack it in a crisscross pattern so air can blow through the pile and help dry the wood, too.
Overall the price of firewood really does vary.
If you don't use much firewood and only need it occasionally, shopping for the best price may not be much of an issue.
For those who burn a lot of wood each year, saving a few dollars here and there can really add up.
So shop around and see what's available in your area.
You never know.....it might be cheaper than you think!