Suggestions on wood shed placement

yinpin

Burning Hunk
Jul 25, 2016
120
Kingsville, MD
I am looking for some advice. My property is only about 1.4 acres and is oddly shaped. As you can see in the picture, the majority of my yard is more of a side yard making wood shed or general shed placement difficult because in my mind you would want it behind your property for security and also close to the house for ease of access.

I do not have a utility shed at this point but I want to build a wood shed. I have been gathering some wood but really dont expect to burn more than 2 cords per year if that. I have an open wood fireplace upstairs that gets weekend and some nights use and a new insert downstairs that I try to keep burning often. The only problem is that this unit is so small it is impossible to keep it burning all day while at work, hard enough to keep it burning all night.

The way I see it I can go at this a few ways. I can build the wood shed this spring and put it in one spot and then have a utility shed built at a later date and placed somewhere else or have one that is dual purpose. Money is an issue and although I feel I can build a woodshed I am not that confident in a utility shed.

Where would you place a wood shed on this property considering access (bring firewood thorough basement and back door), wind/sun facing for drying.

The property is not flat and slopes west to east. I am currently gathering rounds and stacking them to be split at the North side of the yard inside the trees by the road. I have a fire pit on the southeast corner next to the pines.

upload_2018-3-20_15-42-55.png
 

Montanalocal

Feeling the Heat
Dec 22, 2014
396
Helena MT
Assuming two things;

1. The bottom of your picture is South, and
2. The back door of your house is also toward the bottom of you picture,

Then the first thing I would do is to remove the two trees at the very back of your property. They will shade the whole south end of the property, which is where I would stack wood.
 

BoiledOver

Minister of Fire
Apr 14, 2013
620
43°58'55 N - 85°20' W
Nice lot with a buffer to the main road. Evergreens at the south will stifle any winter solar gains.

This is just my old school opinion; a wood shed? In all my life since childhood, decades ago and through the senior years now, we have never had a wood shed. Have used all types of wood burning appliances including, cook stoves, furnaces, boilers, space heaters, and a couple hybrid prototypes. Firewood will season more efficiently out in the open as opposed to in a shaded shed. Planning ahead is a tried and true method for heating with wood. We keep a 3-4 year rotation going.

Aside from all of that, locate your staging area where you feel most comfortable loading your demand for the season. Some folks around here load their front porch from floor to ceiling for easy access. I can use all the exercise possible so I bring mine in from about 100 feet.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,386
Woolwich nj
I would place the shed at an azmyth of about 150 to 160 degrees. This will allow the sun to work both sides in summer
I would do a shed of 4 cords.. the reason is people tend to burn more than thay think they will. Sooooo many people here posting topice of, ran out of wood, wood to wet, how can i dry it faster, can i burn pallets, ect... 2 cords is not really a lot.. thats a wood shed of 4x7x10. A shead of 4x7x20 or 24 is better. The shed needs to be placed reasonably close to the house. I use a wood rack at the back of my house i fill every couple weeks from the wood shed which cuts down on always doing to the shed. Your shed should be off the ground, have the wood sitting on rails amd not a solid floor. Vented sides and back, with all back panels removable.. all of this will speed up drying. Looking at the picture posted i would place it near the driveway to the left with the angle described above.
 

drz1050

Minister of Fire
Sep 11, 2014
791
Ballston Lake, NY
Nice lot with a buffer to the main road. Evergreens at the south will stifle any winter solar gains.

This is just my old school opinion; a wood shed? In all my life since childhood, decades ago and through the senior years now, we have never had a wood shed. Have used all types of wood burning appliances including, cook stoves, furnaces, boilers, space heaters, and a couple hybrid prototypes. Firewood will season more efficiently out in the open as opposed to in a shaded shed. Planning ahead is a tried and true method for heating with wood. We keep a 3-4 year rotation going.

Aside from all of that, locate your staging area where you feel most comfortable loading your demand for the season. Some folks around here load their front porch from floor to ceiling for easy access. I can use all the exercise possible so I bring mine in from about 100 feet.
What do you do about snow coverage of the stacks during the winter though? That's the only reason I want a wood shed. in MD, I probably wouldn't have one.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,386
Woolwich nj
What do you do about snow coverage of the stacks during the winter though? That's the only reason I want a wood shed. in MD, I probably wouldn't have one.
Snow cover is only part of the equation. I have had both stacks and now have 3 wood sheds. Between all the rain and snow we get the wood shed is sooo much a better way to go. If i have a choice of splitting and stacking in a shed or splitting and making stacks and keep ing up on the stacks with tarps for years .. i say the easy way is the shed... As for snow cover we just had 4 nor easters in 4 weeks
 

rowerwet

Minister of Fire
https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/simple-pallet-firewood-rack.167322/
I make covered stacks to season my wood in out of free pallets. My only cost is for the screws, and for damaged steel roofing if I go that route for the roof.
Probably $25 per rack total.
This allows the wood to season quickly, without leaves, ice or snow getting in, and doesn't require any permits from the city

The best part is that I can move the racks after I empty them if I come up with a new plan for direction or location.
 

BoiledOver

Minister of Fire
Apr 14, 2013
620
43°58'55 N - 85°20' W
What do you do about snow coverage of the stacks during the winter though? That's the only reason I want a wood shed. in MD, I probably wouldn't have one.
For firewood seasoning, all is left open to the elements. For the current heating season we top cover that allotment in September.

Scoop.jpg Stacks-3.jpg
 
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yinpin

Burning Hunk
Jul 25, 2016
120
Kingsville, MD
Interesting. The best place for me to stack a big row would be on the north end by the road. I have smaller stacks just behind the back porch in front of the big pines. Maybe a small shed for current years wood to keep it contained, covered, clean, and easy on the eyes for the neighbors. I would have to move seasoned wood to the shed once per year to refresh. I do have a home made rack that I keep on the deck/porch that I stack and a similar stack for the stove in the basement that is out of the elements.

BoiledOver, it looks like you stack the current years supply differently than the rest as well?
 

BoiledOver

Minister of Fire
Apr 14, 2013
620
43°58'55 N - 85°20' W
BoiledOver, it looks like you stack the current years supply differently than the rest as well?
Actually not. First step after splitting results as shown in the first image and sets there for the summer. We stack in one heating season units, 4 rows of 19 inch splits x 16 feet long x 5-1/2 feet high works for us. Final stacks always on runners. Preparing a third unit as seen in the second image. The long stack of freshly split Aspen is a one off event as hardwoods are the norm. The Aspen in a single row due to its inherent ability to turn to turd if left without good ventilation.

Once your firewood is seasoned, it will not take on enough moisture to matter much if left wide open. A tarp will keep moisture out, and keep moisture in so choose covering time after a dry spell. I understand city dwellers may not have the required space to keep a good 3 year rotation going and have concerns with aesthetics too. Also there are wetter regions than others. Woodsheds may be needed by some but for us would be a detriment.

Stacks-5.jpg
Stacks-4.jpg
Stacks.jpg
 
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moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,273
Iowa
Interesting. The best place for me to stack a big row would be on the north end by the road. I have smaller stacks just behind the back porch in front of the big pines. Maybe a small shed for current years wood to keep it contained, covered, clean, and easy on the eyes for the neighbors. I would have to move seasoned wood to the shed once per year to refresh. I do have a home made rack that I keep on the deck/porch that I stack and a similar stack for the stove in the basement that is out of the elements
I have a similar routine. Stack/season remotely on pallets. Bring up the seasoned supply and get it on my covered porch. Also close in my porch from the prevailing wind/weather. Cant keep it all on there but certainly a bunch. The rest of the years required wood is stacked out back but close by. It gets top covered in late fall. Works well.
I am thinking about pouring a large long rectangular slab. Install a big carport in the middle. Split everything on extra long concrete slab out one end. Easy cleanup. Easy stacking seasoning under the carport. Extra slab on opposite end of carport will have a yard shed for storing the splitter/saws/equipment. Big plans:confused: We shall see!
 

Jeffm1

Feeling the Heat
Jun 15, 2015
368
-
Nice lot with a buffer to the main road. Evergreens at the south will stifle any winter solar gains.

This is just my old school opinion; a wood shed? In all my life since childhood, decades ago and through the senior years now, we have never had a wood shed. Have used all types of wood burning appliances including, cook stoves, furnaces, boilers, space heaters, and a couple hybrid prototypes. Firewood will season more efficiently out in the open as opposed to in a shaded shed. Planning ahead is a tried and true method for heating with wood. We keep a 3-4 year rotation going.

Aside from all of that, locate your staging area where you feel most comfortable loading your demand for the season. Some folks around here load their front porch from floor to ceiling for easy access. I can use all the exercise possible so I bring mine in from about 100 feet.
The purpose of a woodshed is not to season firewood. The purpose of a woodshed is to store already seasoned wood out of the elements and keep it dry all burning season regardless of the weather.
 
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blacktail

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2011
1,416
Western WA
Put it where it's easily accessible via pickup truck.
 
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BoiledOver

Minister of Fire
Apr 14, 2013
620
43°58'55 N - 85°20' W
The purpose of a woodshed is not to season firewood. The purpose of a woodshed is to store already seasoned wood out of the elements and keep it dry all burning season regardless of the weather.
This may very well be your perceived intention of a woodshed, but from many posts over the internet and here at the Hearth, others are not exactly on board with your view. I see no need for a woodshed, just my opinion.

On a lighter note, do you shed your firewood from the Arizona sun? Clearly one of the drier climates of the conus. Ya know this is in jest.

I used to work a show in Phoenix at Thanksgiving and sure enjoyed the warm sun. Me lounging in short sleeves while locals wear winter coats, life is a hoot.
 

Jeffm1

Feeling the Heat
Jun 15, 2015
368
-
This may very well be your perceived intention of a woodshed, but from many posts over the internet and here at the Hearth, others are not exactly on board with your view. I see no need for a woodshed, just my opinion.

On a lighter note, do you shed your firewood from the Arizona sun? Clearly one of the drier climates of the conus. Ya know this is in jest.

I used to work a show in Phoenix at Thanksgiving and sure enjoyed the warm sun. Me lounging in short sleeves while locals wear winter coats, life is a hoot.
I don’t live in the desert. I live where there are mountains, pine trees and snow in the winter... no cactus here.
And regarding my “perceived intention” of my woodshed...it is not perception. It is EXACTLY that way for me. And it was here on Hearth that I learned that from ... from many others with more experience and time here on this forum than both you or I. So I would venture to guess there are many more “on board with my view” than you may realize because it was from these many others I acquired my “view”.
 

BoiledOver

Minister of Fire
Apr 14, 2013
620
43°58'55 N - 85°20' W
Jeff, I agree with your definition and think it very logical. Not knocking you at all. But, many times I have seen photos posted of a members woodshed with a splitter sitting right there with fresh splits laying about and some stacked nicely in their new shed.

In our neck of the woods, where many have heated with wood their entire lives, a woodshed is a rarity.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,156
Unity/Bangor, Maine
I'm right with you Jeff . . . I have stacks outside for seasoning for a year or two . . . any wood inside my woodshed is pretty much ready to go (although typically it will be another year or two of "slow" seasoning under the cover of the woodshed before it is used.
 
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Jeffm1

Feeling the Heat
Jun 15, 2015
368
-
Jeff, I agree with your definition and think it very logical. Not knocking you at all. But, many times I have seen photos posted of a members woodshed with a splitter sitting right there with fresh splits laying about and some stacked nicely in their new shed.

In our neck of the woods, where many have heated with wood their entire lives, a woodshed is a rarity.
Well, you ought to try it. You might like it.
 

walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
260
ohio
Three sided corn crib style with open side facing south wherever you want to put it. Kevin.
I agree with this design.

Do you have a way of hauling wood from the shed to the basement door efficiently? ATV? UTV? Tractor? any of these with a cart or wagon? For me, having one of those options would remove my need to keep it close to the house and I would worry more about ease of bringing loads in. Rounds are harder to move then split chunks so I would want to be able to pull my truck right up to my splitting and stacking area. I am building an open sided wood shed this spring or summer in my "wood yard." I buck, split and stack all my wood in this yard because it is 1. in a location that the wife doesn't mind looking at it and 2. I can pull my truck and trailer right up to it and 3. I don't have to work around any of it while mowing or anything else. It is however, 80-90 yards from my house. This doesn't bother me because I have a wheelbarrow and a cart behind my garden tractor. I just bring a few days worth of wood to the house twice a week or so.

Just think the entire process through, from getting the wood off your truck and to your shed and then getting it into your house. If it were me, with my situation, I would place my "wood yard" and shed just to the north of the turn of your upper drive way. Just to the north of those deciduous trees, but not in the middle of that yard. You can split under the trees in the shade in warmer parts of the year and if the shed has open sides, plenty of west - east wind will help dry your stacks. But thats just how I would look at it.
 

yinpin

Burning Hunk
Jul 25, 2016
120
Kingsville, MD
I do use my Troy Bilt Zero turn to tow a 10 cu-ft dump cart full of wood all over the place currently. I am thinking the same thing. Maybe foregoing the wood shed and simply keeping the wood yard Northern most part of the property near the road. That is currently where I have been dumping my scrounges and where I will be splitting. I have a few racks (cinder block, landscaping timbers and 2x4 post) in the Southeast corner where the pines are and the fire-pit is. During the burning season I have been stacking wood on the back porch near the slider for the upstairs fireplace and directly underneath where the basement slider is. I can keep going with this process that way I dont have to move wood multiple times.

I will likely build a rack similar to moresnow's up north so I can split and stack in one spot. I have access to pallets for the this.
 

walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
260
ohio
Yes. When I build mine, it will basically just be a pole shed. I might do corn crib style sides on just two ends and leave it open on the long sides. Just going to put gravel down and set pallets down. Great for ventilation, and cheap if the happen to root. Also gives options to move things around.
 

BoiledOver

Minister of Fire
Apr 14, 2013
620
43°58'55 N - 85°20' W
Well, you ought to try it. You might like it.
If it didn't include one extra step, I might have given it a go.

Can we agree that top covering and a woodshed are equal? They serve the same purpose of keeping the current season from the majority of rain and snow. The current demand here is for four full cords annually. In the past it had been as high as twelve full cords. Better insulation and a gasification boiler that includes 1,000 gallons of storage makes quite a difference.

The current procedure is to cut, split and pile the firewood. The following year it is moved to runners forming a uniform stack (as shown in a previous post here). They sit in that stack for two or more years. Moving four full cords to a woodshed rather than top covering in September is a great deal more work. With our procedure, the firewood is at a moisture content below 17% when top covered in September.
 

Jeffm1

Feeling the Heat
Jun 15, 2015
368
-
Yes, there is one extra step. But to me it is worth it. I even enjoy the work. I do not see top coverage and a woodshed as equal however. If I did, I would not have gone through the time and effort to build my shed. I did the top cover thing. Been there, done that. And done with it. No more jacking with tarps in the wind, rain and snow. No holes, no wind ripped and tattered tarps or roofing panels that blow away like flying guillotine blades in the wind. No more end-soaked pieces that wick the water inward and cause slow hissing “fires”. No more digging through a layer of snow to get my wood. To me, its like the difference between riding a motorcycle in the rain wearing a poncho vs. riding inside a warm car in a storm. Not even close to equal. Heck, mine even has a light for night. All I got to do is flip a switch to see! Worth the extra effort.
 

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BoiledOver

Minister of Fire
Apr 14, 2013
620
43°58'55 N - 85°20' W
Hey Jeff, Didn't intend to upset you by having a different experience and sorry to hear of your failures with top covering. You have a fine woodshed there and can be proud to show it off.

Is water a premium in your area? Seeing the catch barrel and stone lawn makes me wonder how much precipitation you get annually.

We have different views on firewood storage and that is OK with me. Near 50 years I have kept warm and dry accommodations for my children and grandchildren, firewood storage methods have evolved very little in that time and we know what works or we would change it.

Stay warm.