It's autumn, which means many homeowners are eagerly ordering firewood for their fireplaces and fire pits. While wood-burning fires can be nostalgic and delightful, they're much less exciting if you discover moisture problems or rot in your firewood. To prevent this kind of damage, you'll need to construct a small firewood shed to keep your logs dry, clean, and ready for burning.
There are hundreds of different shed styles, but one that seems to work well for most fireplace owners is a narrow, rectangular structure with four support posts, a sloped roof, and a raised floor. Check websites like PopularMechanics.com for detailed plans on how to build a small firewood shed.
Prepare the Ground
First, you'll need to prepare the ground in the area where you want to build the shed. Choose a spot in the yard where the drainage is excellent and water won't pool. To improve drainage, you can cut away the sod and replace it with gravel underneath the raised floor of the shed so the water can soak into the ground and move away from the wood more quickly.
Make sure you have a solid, sturdy spade on hand; you may need it to level the ground or to dig holes if you're doing in-ground supports (also called footings or piers). You may want a rake, too, so you can easily smooth the soil or gravel in the shed area.
You'll need plenty of lumber that fits the specifications of the plans you're using to build your shed. You'll also need to purchase or borrow a circular saw, a power drill, and some tough construction adhesive to help with board placement, as well as tools for measuring, leveling, and plumbing the beams to ensure that they're all perfectly straight. Consult your plans to determine whether you'll need deck screws, joist hanger nails, or 16d common nails.
The first step is to secure the footings, which will ensure a solid foundation for your shed. Next, assemble and raise the walls on either end of the shed. The shed floor should be built high enough that your firewood won't be affected by moisture from the ground, which can cause the development of rot and disease in your firewood. That separation from ground level also makes it tougher for pests or insects to get into your firewood and ruin it.
Lastly, secure the rafters and add the roof slats. It's a good idea to cover the slanted roof of your shed with treated corrugated metal so that it sheds water effectively.
Add Moisture Protection
If your area gets a lot of snow or experiences heavy rainfall, you may need to add a tarp to the woodpile for extra protection. Purchase tarps and straps on the Kurtz, Bros. website and affix them over the firewood during those high-moisture periods; then remove the tarp afterward to allow airflow through the woodpile.
If you need supplies or tools for building a small firewood shed, check the Kurtz Bros. website. You can also call us, and we'll be happy to answer any questions you have. Remember, you can order various quantities of top-quality firewood from Kurtz Bros. as well.