How to Buy Firewood

Here's how to make sure you get a fair load of quality firewood without getting burned.
  • Know the length of wood that you need. The standard length is 16 inches, but some larger stoves can take wood as large as 20 inches or more. When you order, tell the seller the length you want.
  • Buy seasoned firewood, which has been stacked and dried for at least six months. A simple way to check the moisture level of wood is by knocking two pieces together. Dried wood makes a high clapping noise. A lower thudding sound indicates there is still a lot of moisture in the wood. You may buy an inexpensive moisture meter at a hardware store. If this is used, readings should be in the 20% range or lower.
  • Before you buy, check prices with several wood dealers in your area. Seasoned firewood in Connecticut is selling between $220 to $300 a cord, depending on the type of wood and area of the state. 
  • By law, wood should only be sold by the cord or half-cord, not by the truckload. This protects you, the buyer. 
  • A cord is a stack of wood that measures 4 feet high by 4 feet wide by 8 feet long. It totals 128 cubic feet in all. 
  • A half-cord measures 4 feet high by 4 feet wide by 4 feet long. It is 64 cubic feet.
  • It's worth it to pay a little extra to have the seller stack your wood, so you can measure it. This will help you be sure you got the full amount you paid for. Buy several builder's pallets at a home improvement store, and have the firewood stacked on the pallets to keep it off the ground. 
  • If you ordered a full cord and it isn't 4 feet high, 4 feet wide and 8 feet long or a total of 128 cubic feet, don't pay for the wood until the seller brings you what is owed. 
  • If you have a truck, you can go to a wood lot and take it home yourself. Again, stack it when you get home to be sure you have the amount you paid for. 
  • Make sure to get a signed receipt for your firewood, which includes the name, address and phone number of the business, the name of the business owner, the amount of wood you bought and the amount you paid.
  • If you have any problems or concerns, please call the Department of Consumer Protection at 1-800-842-2649 or email