How much is too much wood for suburban neighborhood?

jscs.moore Posted By jscs.moore, Nov 25, 2017 at 7:57 PM

  1. jscs.moore

    jscs.moore
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    This is my 3rd season burning and I still struggle with the idea of stacking what my wife and neighbors would say is too much wood. I get the impression that most who post about being 5, 6 years ahead, etc. tend to live in rural areas where nobody blinks an eye at 10 or 15 cords of wood stacked on a property. But we live in a subdivision where most everyone has about a 1/3 of an acre or a little less. I have about 3.5 cords running down my fence line in the back yard, but I think my neighbors would probably complain if I stacked anymore. About 2 years ago, when I finally bought more wood racks and stacked up to 3.5 cords in the backyard...my wife said, "are you kidding, do you think you're a homesteaders now?"

    I always wonder how much wood is too much when you live in a subdivision with relatively small lots?
     
  2. Stubblefire

    Stubblefire
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    Unless your neighbours pay your heat bill, stack on!!!
     
  3. Jay106n

    Jay106n
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    Might be time to sell the house and move into the woods where there are plenty of btu's and no neighbors.

    Seriously, unless you have housing association or blight laws stack away until ruled otherwise by a court.
     
  4. D8Chumley

    D8Chumley
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    Maybe ask the neighbors? As long as it’s neatly stacked in rows, like not an eyesore, I say stack away also
     
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  5. peakbagger

    peakbagger
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    If a neighbor objects ask them to pay the heating bill, tax bill and mortgage payments.
     
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  6. jscs.moore

    jscs.moore
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    Thanks for the feedback guys! I'm with all of you, I thinking of getting more wood racks and increasing my wood supply early next year to about 5 cords. I'll just have to deal with some of the neighbors and their sarcasm...one of them said to me a few years back, "Sure you got enough wood in your yard?" Oh well
     
  7. peakbagger

    peakbagger
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    Be glad you dont live where there is a homeowners association.
     
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  8. jscs.moore

    jscs.moore
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    We actually have an HOA...and they haven't said anything yet so that's why I'm concerned about stacking too much more.
     
  9. kennyp2339

    kennyp2339
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    I have just under an acre but live in the center of a small town, I also have a severe wood addiction and my comfort zone is to be 3 years ahead at all times, or have about 12 or so cords of wood on hand. This past summer I built a wood shed in my driveway, my neighbor refers to it as the "train station" I built (4) 10ft sections that are 5ft wide in a L shape with a continuous roof. I am able to hold 8 cords no problem and it looks very neat and compliments the property very well. All my neighbors have commented on it and they all love it, even the oil man that was delivering next door came over to look and give the thumbs up.
    What I'm trying to say is that if you invest in building a shed that looks good and can hold a lot you wont have any problems with bringing in a ton of wood.
     
  10. kennyp2339

    kennyp2339
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  11. Bad LP

    Bad LP
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    I've always thought a good looking wood shed filled and kept neat is an improvement not an eye sore.
     
  12. Woody5506

    Woody5506
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    I live in a suburb with close to an acre lot, that backs up to a yuppier neighborhood, who I could care less about. I get a few comments from my immediate neighbors but nobody actually cares. The biggest eye sore would probably be my tarps covering the stacks.

    As far as I know, there's no town laws/ordinances against storing firewood. So stack away!
     
  13. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd
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    I also have 1/3 acre. My house is a corner lot and the house sits oddly on the lot, so i have to stack all of my wood in the front of my house. I store about 5 cords of wood. My stacks are pretty neat (not as super neat as some on this forum, but pretty neat). My neighbors always have something to say about it, but it doesn't bother me at all. Most of their comments are complementary in nature. I've saved over $12,000 heating with wood over the years -not to mention the absolute enjoyment i get from processing wood. I don't mind the occaisional comment. Do your own thing. Don't worry about the neighbors. As long as you are respectful to your wife's wishes (it's her yard too), and do ypur best to keep everything pretty neat, I think you're good to go.
     
  14. Ashful

    Ashful
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    Make it neat, something similar to Kenny’s rig shown above. The last thing you want is to become the subject of an HOA meeting. Also, insurance companies (not just yours, but your neighbor’s) may take issue with storing large amounts of “fuel” onsite. It is a fire hazard, having dozens of cords of fuel stacked between houses, no matter how you slice it.

    Make it look tasteful, and you’re less likely to get dragged into all of that by a disgruntled neighbor.
     
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  15. peakbagger

    peakbagger
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    Pretty simple, read the HOA contract and possibly local zoning. HOA contracts can cover anything including the number and types of structures. Build a wood shed and you may end up violating the rules. Armed with the rules, you can respond far more intelligently if anyone has any issues. My approach would be assume I will have a difficult neighbor at some point and plan so that I dont run afoul of the actual rules instead of what folks think are the rules.

    My area has high property taxes, the town is very aggressive on taxing structures. I can stack all the wood I want but I currently get tagged with about $40 bucks a year taxes on my current woodshed plus if I wanted to expand it I would need a special exception to zoning as I would have exceeded the number of structures on my lot. The odd part is as long as I dont support a roof off the ground I can build a roof on my woodpiles. I do that on some of my stacks, I screw uprights directly to the log ends in the piles and then run some cross braces above the stacks and then lay on whatever roofing I have around. I have a doghouse over my bulkhead that easily holds close to cord so I just make sure that each pile is less than a cord. When I run my bulkhead down I just break a stack apart and put the contents in the bulkhead. The original wood shed is for deep winter where I dont want to dig out 3 or 4 feet of snow around a woodpile. Luckily with running a minisplit off excess solar and wood boiler with storage, despite being in far northern NH, I only use 3 to 3.5 cords so I really only need 7 cords max.
     
  16. jscs.moore

    jscs.moore
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    Thanks for all the feedback. Yes, I think the bottom line is wood stacks have to be really neat and not be considered and eye soar or I would attract the attention of the HOA. Fortunately, the HOA in our development is not militant and I have some neighbors on the same block with at least a few cords or more in their yards. I believe I have enough room running down my fence line to stack another 1.5 to 2 cords. This would bring me to about 5 cords in the backyard...don't think I want to push it further:(
     
  17. wayne.nestor

    wayne.nestor
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    Keep it neat and it won't matter. I live in a town house and most of my neighbors love the smell of my stove going.

    Right now I can only stack about 3 cords but I plan to double it once I finish leveling things out a bit.

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  18. jscs.moore

    jscs.moore
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    Ahh...definitely don't feel so bad now! Thanks, your my hero brother! If you have the balls to stack 3 cords in a townhouse lot I can certainly stack 5 on a 1/3 of an acre. Thanks for the pics, I'm inspired:)
     
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  19. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit
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    I live in the Township, across the road is houses inside the City limits. One guy who hadn't even moved in yet asked me, "how often do you run a chainsaw" seeing my stacks of wood. I told him, "Well I don't see that is any of your business as I live in the township". He has since calmed down but he is considered a real *$$hole by the rest of the neighbors. He has calmed down since I very seldom run a saw in the yard and my yard and orchard look quite a bit better than all the neighbors yards.:cool:

    Funny what having a lawn care business and what 1200#s of golf course grade fertilizer and weed abatement program can do for turf.;)

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  20. wayne.nestor

    wayne.nestor
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    Now THATS a lot of wood lol

    I don't have an HOA. Just county codes. Main stipulation is no rat harborage. This means all wood has to be neatly stacked and 6 inches off the ground. I use plastic pallets and everything looks nice and clean.

    As far as the yard goes, I'm an end of group unit with 3x the yard ( plenty big for lots of wood ). I have great neighbors who are also home owners. Why not? Lol

    I actually have a few neighbors who want to copy my idea but unless you're an end group townhome, it's impossible to meet code, unless you go out the back wall....... And that makes you lose the kitchen. Being end of group I went right in the middle of my outside wall ( where I stack my wood too outside ) and the heat keeps the entire home toasty.

    That said, I've also put up a 6ft privacy fence most of the way around. The wood pile isn't as noticable that way lol


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  21. kennyp2339

    kennyp2339
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  22. xman23

    xman23
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  23. hickoryhoarder

    hickoryhoarder
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    I have a 1/4 acre in the city, surrounded mainly by 1/4 acre lots. My wife seems to worry about the firewood in the big driveway (gets the most sun and wind there), but most in town seem to like it. (We have about a cord, which to people around here is a lot of firewood.) To me, the key issue in cities is air pollution. We have a new stove, burn only well seasoned hardwood, and rely to a large extent on the central heat. Whatever the neighbors think or feel, it's their air I care about. You cannot smell our stove outside when it's going, even standing on our porch. No smoke to see -- none. In contrast, some of the fireplaces on our block put out a fair amount of smoke and particulate.

    I look at the wood as a nice conversation piece. I had a neighbor stop by to ask for help in learning to use a maul. I started her out on cherry -- you just bop it in the center and it splits. She was very impressed with the ease, and went home to do her own.
     
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  24. kennyp2339

    kennyp2339
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    Ondura roofing from lowes
     
  25. EJP1234

    EJP1234
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    6yrs ago we lived in a subdivision in our first house. We were in the back yard in october, enjoying the fire pit for my wifes Bday.. It was just us and her sister.. We werent even talking, just enjoying the fire and looking at the stars. The police came, one of my neighbors called to complain about us having a fire.... As soon as the friendly officers left, I declared we were moving.. Less than 4mo's later we moved, and we know have 150acres and my closest neighbor is almost a mile away...

    Never, ever again, will I live where I cant mow my grass butt naked again. Firewood stacks? Yes, I have plenty...
     

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