What’s not to love about buying in bulk? It certainly beats wasting all that gas making multiple trips to the store! This is especially true when stocking up on bulk firewood for sale.
But you must be careful when dealing with bulk logs for sale. You don’t want to buy a whole bunch only to realize the wood is junk, or you bought too much or have nowhere to store it.
We’ve learned these lessons the hard way from nearly 30 years of experience in the firewood industry. So, we’ve put together this short guide to help you avoid those nightmare scenarios.
Follow these seven tips, and your bulk firewood treasure trove will runneth over.
Oh, and by the way, if you’re looking to buy some firewood after this, we can help you with that, too. We deliver kiln-dried firewood in bulk throughout the Chicago region and would be happy to drop some off at your home or business.
But more on that later. For now, let’s get to those expert buying tips.
1. Find a Firewood Seller You Can Trust
Obviously, you’re buying in bulk because you want a lot of wood. But you must resist the urge to buy from the company that promises the most wood at the lowest price. At least resist it long enough to research the business first.
The Dangers of Buying the Cheapest Bulk Firewood for Sale
You get what you pay for in all things, and bulk firewood logs are certainly no exception. After all, firewood is only as good as the company selling it.
If a business cuts corners during production, your wood will fizzle quickly. And if it uses crisscross stacking methods when delivering your wood, you’ll probably wind up with less wood than you paid for.
That’s why you should have a healthy skepticism and do your research rather than taking a company at face value. If an offer seems too good to be true, it likely is.
Your Research Checklist
Your research doesn’t need to take long. It can be as simple as checking off these items:
- Check if the seller has reviews on Google and Facebook.
- Ask around to see if anyone you know has had a good experience with the business.
- See if the company lists its address and visit it to view the wood yourself.
- Consider buying the smallest bundle first and testing it out if you’re unsure.
These steps will help gauge whether a firewood seller is worth your trust. Always go with your gut on these things because it rarely steers you wrong.
After all, it’s better to choose a trustworthy source than to wind up with a pile of useless wood in your driveway!
2. Ask About the Wood-Drying Process
You may find multiple options for bulk firewood for sale that seem trustworthy. In this case, how do you determine which is worthy of your business? The crux of your decision should be how the company dries its wood.
Seasoning vs. Kiln-Dried Firewood
The drier the wood, the better it will burn. No other quality matters quite as much. Sure, hardwood species like oak and hickory burn better than softwood species like cedar and pine. And, of course, you want the firewood to be the standard length of 16 inches. But if that wood contains too much moisture, any hope of having a great fire goes out the window.
So, before you purchase from any seller, ask them, “How do you dry your wood?” They will likely use one of two methods: seasoning or kiln drying. Seasoning is the practice of leaving wood out to air dry for months. Conversely, kiln drying speeds up this process by drying the wood for 48 hours in massive ovens.
We recommend avoiding a business that uses seasoning and going with one that uses kiln drying instead.
Why Kiln-Dried Is the Superior Option
Kiln-dried firewood is better than seasoned firewood for many reasons. But the biggest one is that it guarantees a moisture content below 20%. Seasoning can’t make this guarantee because too many variables are involved with drying wood outside. Kiln drying removes these variables by bringing the wood into a super-hot enclosed environment.
As a result, your entire bulk kiln-dried firewood order will be in pristine burning condition. It may cost more than seasoned firewood because of the superior drying process. But we think that extra expense is worth it for the superior performance.
Want to learn more about this superior type of wood? Check out our complete guide to kiln-dried firewood.
3. Determine How Much Wood You Need
It’s time to determine how much wood you need in your bulk order. This step can be tricky because firewood measurements have a language all their own. Therefore, it’s essential to understand the terminology to know how much wood you’re ordering.
A Cord of Wood
Most companies use a unit called a cord to measure firewood. Unfortunately, there is no universal standard for how much firewood is in a cord, so the exact volume can vary depending on who you ask. But most people in the firewood industry agree that a cord contains 128 cubic feet of wood.
Depending on how much wood you plan on using, a cord of wood can last 5-12 weeks or about an entire winter.
Other Firewood Measurements
Most businesses don’t sell their bulk orders by the cord. Instead, they use a smaller measurement called a face cord. This usually contains one-third the amount of wood in a full cord. Once again, the exact volume of a face cord can vary, so it’s important to ask the seller how they measure their face cord before buying in bulk.
Once you find out how much wood a company has in its face cord, estimate the amount of wood you’ll use per week to determine how much you’ll need to last through the firewood season. You may need multiple face cords or only a fraction of a face cord.
4. Prepare for Storing Your Wood Ahead of Time
Have you thought about where you’ll store your bulk firewood delivery order? It’s crucial that you do it before it gets here because you can waste a lot of quality wood if you don’t – especially if you’re ordering kiln-dried firewood!
When You Don’t Plan Ahead
Let’s say, hypothetically, that you don’t plan where to store your kiln-dried firewood. When your order arrives, you realize you don’t have any room inside or outside your house other than a spot in the corner of your yard. So, you dump the woodpile there. As a result, what once was super dry, clean firewood very quickly becomes damp, muddy scrap wood. It no longer burns like a jet engine and is a home for all sorts of creepy crawlies.
We think you get the picture.
Finding The Best Storage Place
To keep your bulk kiln-dried firewood order pristine, you will want to store it securely. The best place to do this is in a cool, dry indoor area like a basement or garage.
But you can keep the wood protected outside if you don’t have space in your home. A great way to do this is by stacking the wood in a log store or rack.
At the very least, elevate the wood off the ground and stack it with space between the pieces to allow for airflow. You could also put a tarp over the wood to protect it from the rain.
By taking precautions like these ahead of time, you’ll set yourself up for a firewood season full of the best fires possible!
5. Decide How You Want to Get Your Wood
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: getting all that bulk firewood for sale to your home. You may be tempted to haul the wood in your own truck to save on delivery costs. If you are, then you’ll want to make sure your truck can handle the size of your bulk order.
Standard Truck Bed Capabilities
A standard 6-foot truck bed can typically hold a face cord of wood, and an 8-foot bed can handle half a cord. If you’re getting a cord of firewood or more, you’ll need a larger truck with high racks to handle all that wood.
But being able to fit the wood is only half the battle. You must also check that your truck can handle all that extra weight. A cord of wood can weigh as much as 5,000 pounds, and a face cord can weigh 1,200 pounds. So, read your owner’s manual to see if your truck is strong enough to carry all that extra weight.
Bulk Firewood Delivery
You can opt for firewood delivery if you don’t want to go to all that extra trouble. Most companies offer to deliver the wood to your home. And the best companies work with you to ensure the delivery process goes as smoothly as possible.
The business should ask for instructions about where you’d like the wood placed and give you an ETA for when to expect your order to arrive. If anything changes in that schedule, someone should call and let you know.
That’s how we do it here at Lumberjacks, where providing top-notch customer service is equally as important as creating premium bulk firewood for sale.
6. Stack the Wood to Check for Quality
We recommend stacking the wood yourself once it arrives at your home. This may seem strange to you. After all, if you get the wood delivered, shouldn’t the company stack it for you?
You would think so, but the most trustworthy companies don’t insist on stacking the wood for you. This is because those businesses have nothing to hide.
The Reason to Do It Yourself
Companies that insist on stacking the wood may use deceptive stacking methods to make it look like you’re getting more wood than you are.
So, by letting you stack it yourself, the company is saying, “Go ahead. It’s all there. We have nothing to hide.
Stacking the wood yourself also allows you to get an up-close look at the wood to check for quality. Kiln-dried wood should have the following characteristics:
- Not too heavy
- Pieces make a hollow sound when hit together
- Cracks on the edges from the kiln-drying process
- No mold, fungus or bugs to be found
Invest In a Moisture Meter
You can also check the moisture level of the pieces using a moisture meter, a tool you can buy at most hardware stores. Each piece should have a moisture level below 20%.
If the wood doesn’t meet those standards, you can bring it up to the company. You should never have to suffer with a low-quality product when you buy fire logs in bulk!
You may be hesitant to stack the wood yourself because you don’t know proper firewood stacking methods. To help you with this, we’ve also put together this handy guide to proper firewood stacking.
7. Use Your Wood Sparingly to Make It Last
The nice thing about bulk kiln-dried firewood orders is that they can last much longer than bulk orders of seasoned wood. This is because you don’t need as much kiln-dried wood to start the fire or keep it going.
How Much Kiln-Dried Firewood to Use
We recommend being conservative when using your kiln-dried firewood. You’ll only need to use three or four pieces to start a fire, and then you can add a piece occasionally to keep it going. You shouldn’t need to add as many pieces as you do for a fire with seasoned wood.
The exact amount of wood you’ll use will vary from fire to fire and depend on the size and duration you want. But no matter the situation, you can err on the side of using less wood. The quality of the fire should live up to your expectations, and you can get the most out of your bulk firewood order.
Reordering Bulk Firewood for Sale
Found a reliable company to answer the question “Where to buy bulk wood?” You may need to reorder bulk firewood for sale before the end of the cold season. How long your firewood lasts depends on many things, including how much you ordered and what you’re using it for. If it’s used as a primary heating method for your home, you’ll likely need to place a second order.
At Lumberjacks, we recommend reordering bulk firewood for sale when you begin to run low – not when you run out. If you see that you have about a week of firewood left, go ahead and place an order. It’s better to be prepared than to be freezing!
You’re Now Ready to Buy Bulk Firewood for Sale in Chicago!
As you can see, having a plan before buying firewood in bulk pays off. By including each of these seven steps in your plan, you’ll have an amazing experience with your bulk firewood order.
As mentioned above, we offer bulk firewood delivery in Chicago suburbs like Arlington Heights, Highland Park and everywhere in between. You can call to place your order or get your questions answered by a helpful firewood expert!