Worth Knowing: What you should pay for a cord of wood

It's the time of year when people start thinking about the cooler days ahead and, brrrrr, winter. So we thought it would be worth knowing to find out what the going rate for a cord of seasoned wood is in the Upper Valley. We asked for opinions and we received half a dozen. The consensus was that a cord of seasoned wood delivered to your home for stacking should cost between $250 and $300 and a cord of unseasoned wood should cost between $200 and $225.

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Tim from Corinth provided some great detail about what seasoned means, how to season wood and when to order: 

"Seasoned" can mean many different moisture contents.  "Green" means > 28% mc.   28% mc or less is below the so-called fiber saturation point and puts the wood into the (marginally) seasoned category, although you would not be happy to burn it.  A huge fraction of the resulting heat would go to push water vapor up the chimney. Wood that's air dried, covered, outside, for a year or more will likely reach equilibrium mc around 15%. In a shed, it may go lower depending on the average annual relative humidity in the shed. (Dirt floor? ) The framing and interior wood of a house will be somewhere between 5% and 10% mc unless it's in a damp cellar.  Houses burn really well.  Fuel wood that spends time in low humidity, probably inside, before burning, is most satisfactory @ <= 10% mc. The best buy is green, at $200+/cord, delivered, as early in the year as possible, stacked off the ground with a plastic ground sheet below, covered (top only) , in a sunny spot, by May 1.  Should be fairly ready to burn by Oct 1, although a week or more indoors before going through the stove helps. Buying two years ahead is also better. A reasonably fit person should be able to stack and cover a cord in three hours or so, capturing ~ $100 per seasoned cord, tax free. Assuming that the opportunity cost to tie up the cost of a winter or two's wood fuel is possible and relatively insignificant. 

And Lee from Barnard provided some wisdom on what a cord of wood is in size and makeup: 

One full cord of good HARDWOOD is 128 cubic feet. Should be 4X4X8 when stacked and if anyone tells you the wood is stacked to tight tell them they are full of crap--o-lah and never buy wood from them again because they will find other ways to cheap you!!!!! Now, good hard wood…NO PINE…Maple Beech, Oak, Yellow Birch, Cherry, possibly apple……good hard wood is equal about to 225 +- Gallons of fuel oil.

Several responders recommended this wood dealer in Lyme: ntfbill@hotmail.com. Please feel free to add your recommendation below ina  comment beneath this post.

Happy heating.

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