With 1 cord of firewood, you might warm up your house for the whole season. What about 1/4 cord of wood? How much is it?
When you ask this question, you either want to know the size of a cord quarter, or you might mean the average price of ¼ cord of wood.
Whichever you look for, both measurement and cost are important. This article will give a detailed explanation of two concerns for your reference.
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Table of Contents
- What Is The Cord Measurement?
- What Does A 1/4 Cord Of Wood Look Like?
- How Long Does A 1/4 Cord Of Wood Last?
- In Terms of Cost: How Much Is a 1/4 Cord of Wood?
- Wrapping Up
What Is The Cord Measurement?
While most dealers measure wood types in inches or meters, there is a special measurement for residential firewood and pulpwood. It is “cord.”
The name “cord” was from the 1610s when dealers used to sell bundles of wood tightened with a string or cord.
Such a practice remains until now, so the cord has become an official measurement for firewood in Canada and the United States (US.)
Accordingly, Canadian regulation only recognizes a cord in a single stack of wood 8x4x4 inches (equivalent to 128 cubic feet.) Face, stove, or apartment cords of firewood are not in verified quantity.
The US, meanwhile, uses the metric system to measure wood. One stere is equal to one cubic meter or 0.276 cords. However, the regulation does not restrict cord types like the Canadian.
Dealers use different ways of packing to bypass the above dimension. They sell standing cords, split cords, face cords, fencing cords, or processed cords instead of firewood stack.
These cords include air between the logs and reduce the actual volume of wood.
As a result, any firewood consumer will get confused about what to buy and how to ensure the standard firewood quantity of a cord.
A traditional cord of wood is huge for household or small woodworking projects. Thus, dealers also sell half-cords and quarter-cords to save storage volume and expense.
What Does A 1/4 Cord Of Wood Look Like?
Of all, 1/4 cords of wood are the most common, 16 inches deep, 4 feet tall, and 6 feet wide. The volume is 32 cubic feet, meaning one-fourth of standard cords.
How Long Does A 1/4 Cord Of Wood Last?
It depends on various factors:
- Types of wood you are using.
- The average temperature in your area.
- Your purpose of burning wood: heating or simply for ambiance.
- The number of fireplaces you have.
- The frequency of burning your fireplaces.
Suppose you burn one fireplace daily, and for a house of 1,000 square feet, a ¼ cord of wood can last for two weeks. It means you need a dozen of ¼ cords for the winter season.
In Terms of Cost: How Much Is a 1/4 Cord of Wood?
While doing a quick search, you get confused because the prices of ¼ cords vary greatly from $38 to $125. Then, you must know the factors affecting wood prices.
Types of wood
Here we mostly mention stacked firewood. It has different types with different burning properties.
Hardwood, like oak, maple, or ash, burns better than others. Nonetheless, the wood takes time to grow and is more expensive. Dealers usually provide cheaper ¼ cords of softwood such as pine, larch, and cedar.
It is worth paying hardwood to get a strong and cozy fire if the weather is extremely cold.
Wood can be either dry-seasoned/dry Kiln firewood or fresh-out wood. The earlier would burn more effectively since it only has 15% moisture content.
Nonetheless, dealers must dry the wood for at least one season under sunlight. Such time and effort cost extra compared to fresh-cut lumber.
You can not tell seasoned and fresh-cut wood apart at a glance. It would be better to require testing by moisture meter to prevent scams.
Mud, dirt, or remnants of branches restrict the heating properties and even leave a mess. They also make up the volume of cords.
If you buy 1/4 cords of wood, we recommend clean wood only. Make sure dealers trim the cord properly and remove any protruding debris.
Size and Shape
Do not hesitate to pay extra for uniform mid-sized logs since they are easier to be stacked into cords and produce an even burn.
How Many Pieces Of Firewood Are There In A ¼ Cord Of Wood?
A standard ¼ cord is 32 cubic feet of firewood. It is equivalent to 12 bundles of mid-sized wood pieces.
How To Store ¼ Cords Of Wood?
You should buy stacked, dry-seasoned, and split firewood – not only because they burn better but also because of their convenient storage.
You simply find a dry, clean place outdoors and stack the wood: the driest wood on the top to burn in advance. Also, cover the cords with a tarp (or a firewood rack cover) to prevent surrounding moisture and rain.
If you buy cheaper green wood, you must split it into manageable pieces and stack them into separate racks (preferably an outdoor firewood rack), ready for air drying.
How To Determine Whether The Cords Are Ready to Burn?
Never burn wet logs, or your house is smokey rather than cozy.
You must roughly check the dryness of your quarter cords before purchasing and using them. A moisture meter is helpful, but you can also check by knocking two logs together. If the sound is sharp, you have dry seasoned wood.
How To Save Money on Buying 1/4 Cords of Wood?
Suppose you do not mind waiting for the wood to air dry; you can buy the cords in the hot months (before June) and put them aside for the cold season. Such off-season purchase saves money.
In this article, we both answered the questions on how much a 1/4 cord of wood is in terms of size and cost.
To sum up, here are some useful notes:
- You had better buy a standard 1/4 cord of wood (4ft x 6ft x 16’’) to prevent fake volumes.
- Although a 1/4 cord can be as cheap as $38, we strongly recommend paying extra up to $125 for clean and dry-seasoned hardwood.
- Always keep the wood dry. You must store the logs widely and prefer using the driest wood first.