suggestions for siting woodshed

papercarver Posted By papercarver, Jan 12, 2013 at 10:04 PM

  1. papercarver

    New Member

    Jan 5, 2013
    Newbury, MA
    Hi Folks:

    I'm going to be building a small (ie. 2 cords) woodshed for a not yet purchased wood stove and I was wondering if any of you have suggestions as to how I should site it for best ventilation of the stacks? The shed I'm building is the basic lean-to, with slats on the back and sides (not "solid" walls) and completely open in front.

    Where I live (Newbury, MA) we're near the coast and so we tend to get hammered fairly regularly with wind-driven rain coming from the north and east. I can site my shed so the open side is facing due west, with the back against the wall of an outbuilding, or standing alone facing due south. If it were your yard and wood, where would you site the shed?

    Thanks for any and all opinons,

    Gasifier likes this.
  2. rideau

    Minister of Fire

    Jan 12, 2012
    southern ontario
    Personally, I face it in the direction of the prevailing wind, with a long enough overhand to protect it from some of the rain and snow. The wind will dry the wood better than anything else. If you are planning to stack wood outside, and just move it to the shed when it is dry, then I'd put it where it is most convenient to the house, for easier loading of the stove/any inside rack.
    raybonz and ScotO like this.
  3. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck
    Minister of Fire

    Feb 26, 2009
    Central PA
    I think the main benefit of a woodshed would be to keep the snow and ice off my firewood and make it more convenient to get the wood in the winter. I'd put the shed conveniently near the house.
    firefighterjake and ScotO like this.
  4. bogydave

    Minister of Fire

    Dec 4, 2009
    So Cent ALASKA
    I put mine where it best fit the property layout along property line.
    Mine is open all sides so no matter the wind direction.

    I'd make it convienient for burn season access & use :)
    ScotO likes this.
  5. Gasifier

    Minister of Fire

    Apr 25, 2011
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    Yup. Put it close to the house if you can, and close to the entry you will use for bringing the wood inside.
  6. Dune

    Minister of Fire

    Jan 14, 2008
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    Face it south. The prevailing (drying) wind in your area is SW and, as you know, during a nor-easter, the rain comes sideways, so no amount of overhang will keep your wood dry.
    papercarver and ScotO like this.
  7. shoot-straight

    Feeling the Heat

    Jan 5, 2012
    Kennedyville, MD
    Well I live in MD and am doing quite the opposite of many on here. Prevailing winds are west for the most part. My shed is 3 sided, with an opening to the east. The sides are made of prefab fence panels that let air circulate. Its 3 8x8 bays. Unlike others, its a ways from the house. I like to split and stack directly. I have piles of unsplit wood that is not really pleasant to look at. so I keep it away from the house. keeping it away from the house also keeps bugs and rodents away as well. rack under my covered porch that holds about a quarter cord. I bring it up a little at a time.
  8. SolarAndWood

    Minister of Fire

    Feb 3, 2008
    Syracuse NY
    I'd consider how the shed fits into your overall process. 2 cord sounds like what you think you might burn in any given season? If that is the case, the wood should be dry going in and you should site it for considerations other than wind. My 8 cord shed would rot the wood before it ever dried it and bug infest my house in the process but it works great to have a dry 8 cord right outside the door on the leeward side of the house at the beginning of every season.
    papercarver likes this.
  9. ScotO


    All of the above. Bottom line is put it where you can best fit it, try to situate it so, most importantly, the wind can blow through it but secondly, where you can access it easily. I'm going the extra step and I plan on making the roof dark (maybe even black) to help super-heat it in the summer time. The rest of the wood will be stained dark brown (the slats on the sides and back) and the front (which will have a western exposure and be in sunlight from lunch til almost dark) will have roll-up black rubber roofing "blinds". All to help 'cook' the stacks. should be like kiln-dried wood when it gets to the stove as it will have been sitting 2 years outside, one year inside the shed.
    raybonz and papercarver like this.
  10. LLigetfa

    Minister of Fire

    Nov 9, 2008
    NW Ontario
    I located my shed on the North side of my septic field for good airflow primarily but also because it is out of sight from my driveway. I am paranoid that a pyromaniac may see it and want to set it on fire. Also it is where my axes are and don't want perps to get the idea to use them to break in with.

    That said, my outdoor wood stacks can be seen from the public road whereas my house cannot be seen from the road.
  11. papercarver

    New Member

    Jan 5, 2013
    Newbury, MA
    Wow, you guys are fantastic - thanks for taking the time to give me such thoughtful replies. I'm realizing that all of this is going to be a lot trickier to figure out until I have ANY idea a) how much wood we'll burn through in a year; b) how "dry" we can buy our wood affordably (shortening the time on site it has to cure); and c) how long it will take a stack to dry in my current location.

    In my previous life as a woodburner (ca. 1986-1998), we just stacked the wood near the house and put a tarp over the top, bringing in whatever we needed from the rows that had been there at least one year. It worked OK, but the stove was an "old-fashioned" cataylitic Jotul. This time around, I think we need to be more careful to keep the dry stuff DRY.

    Trust me, I will situate the dry wood as conveniently to the house as possible - nothing like having to unexpectedly shovel out the path and the woodpile at 6am! My property is roughly half an acre, so there isn't very far to go from anywhere I can site a woodpile anyway.

    Based on all of your good advice, I think I'll create a two-part system: a shed to keep dry wood dry facing west and up against an outbuilding; and an exposed stack perpendicular to that, facing south. I can probably rig up a "roof" over the exposed stack to at least keep the rain that falls straight down (sadly, not our most common type hereabouts) off the top of the stack.

    I'd love to have a little shed up by the front door right at hand, but the doorway is on the northside of the house, so anything would be in deep shade and would risk staying wet forever (we frequently find mold or lichen growing on the north side of the house).

    I will try to focus on how wonderful my triceps and biceps will look after carrying all of that wood the 45 feet from shed to doorstep. In the snow. Sigh.
  12. raybonz

    Minister of Fire

    Feb 5, 2008
    Carver, MA.
    I located my shelter facing east about 50' from the house to keep moisture, bugs and critter away from the house. I season for a year stacked outside on pallets then move it into the shelter when I am done burning. With the Fusion stove I would plan on using at least 3 cords of wood a year and the smallest size shelter I would build would accommodate at least what I would use in a year.. I also allowed enough room to store my wood wagon in the shelter so I can load up out of the weather plus it's nice to have a place to store the wagon..


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