How Much Should I Expect to Pay for a Cord of Wood?

Aug 20, 2018 | Blog

There’s nothing better than sitting around a fireplace with those you love during those winter months. Of course, you’ll need plenty of firewood for that fireplace, or you’ll be left out in the cold. However, don’t run out to buy your firewood just yet.

Those prices can skyrocket for your smaller bundles of logs as demand for them increases. If you only use firewood once a year, though, then it’s not such a big deal. Some of us have to use firewood quite often, so those high prices take a good chunk out of our wallet. Some people rely on firewood to heat their homes.

If that’s you, we would like to make a suggestion. Look at purchasing your firewood in cords as it saves you money in the long run and gives you a plentiful supply of firewood.

What is a Cord of Wood?

Let’s answer the obvious question first. What exactly is a cord of wood? A cord of wood is simply a stacked pile of firewood that measures 4 ft. X 4 ft. X 8 ft. It takes up a large space of around 128 cubic feet though some of that measurement includes the air in between the logs.

In actuality, there are approximately 90 cubic feet of wood in a cord. Along with being large, a cord of wood is cumbersome. If hardwood is used, a cord can weigh up to 5,000 pounds. If softwood is used, it may only weigh around 2,500 pounds.

An issue with a cord of wood, however, is that four-foot pieces of firewood are not used for home heating. Firewood dealers when cutting with their chainsaw, also don’t sell those four-foot pieces very often because they are not used in homes. Therefore, there are different types of cords that you should be aware of.

Cord Terminology

Before purchasing a cord of wood, you need to be aware that you’ll not want to purchase a “full cord.” One, you may not be able to find a dealer for that, and the wood would never fit into your fireplace. You’ll want to look at buying a “face cord” as it is most commonly called.

The face cord is not much different from a full cord as they both are 4 ft. high and 8 ft. long. The difference is that the pieces in a face cord are generally only 16” long. This makes them usable in most residential fireplaces though they can be bought longer or shorter depending on the dealer.

Other terms such as “stove cord” or “furnace cord” also represent a face cord. However, it is important to note that these are not official measurements, and they are not legally recognized as proper measurements either.

How Much Does a Cord Cost?

There’s no exact price for a cord of wood, and that is because of a few factors. One, it’s all about supply and demand. If there’s less demand for a cord of wood, then the prices will not be extremely high. However, if demand skyrockets then so will the prices. In winter months, firewood will logically cost more than in summer months.

The type of wood can also affect the price of a cord. We’ll break it down into two types of wood that you can purchase. There’s hardwood and softwood as we mentioned earlier. Hardwood will cost more than softwood because it is the better firewood. The fact that it burns longer and is all-around more efficient makes it more valuable.

Softwood burns very quickly meaning you’ll go through an entire cord rather quickly. In turn, this will mean you must go back and purchase another cord until the cycle ends. Softwood will be less expensive because of this, but not very efficient.

All in all, a cord of wood can cost anywhere from $200 up to $500. If you choose to have the firewood delivered to you, this can add additional costs to your bill. It’s important to consider all the factors of the price before making your purchase so that you make the best deal available to you.

Some Tips to Consider

We don’t want you to end up getting a raw deal when you purchase firewood. We’ve been there and understood the frustration that comes with not getting the amount you ordered or the quality of the wood being less than ideal.

Firstly, you’ll want to make sure that you can inspect the wood personally before the purchase. You never want to exchange your money for firewood before actually seeing the firewood. This way you can ensure the quality of the wood and the quantity. That way, you can change your mind if you notice some red-flags about the firewood itself.

Secondly, buy your firewood from a reputable dealer. If you risk buying it from someone you know nothing about, then you risk a bad deal. There are firewood dealers out there who excel at tricking buyers into purchasing a seemingly good deal. It’s never a bad idea to ask neighbors and friends where they get their firewood from to develop an idea of where to look for a good deal.

Next, we highly recommend you avoid making a deal over the telephone. This is far too risky to try, and you could lose out on some money doing this. If you purchase over the phone, you never see the wood until you’ve bought it which is a terrible idea. You can call and agree to meet them to look at the firewood, but do not make that purchase over the phone.

Lastly, we suggest you buy hardwood and not softwood. As stated earlier, softwood burns very quickly meaning you have to refresh your supply constantly. This will inevitably cost more money to do than if you just bought one cord of hardwood. Hardwood is far more efficient and works even better.


Purchasing firewood can be confusing at times when dealing with the right size to order and where to order it from. However, we hope this guide has proven useful to you in learning more about a cord of wood and what your cost may end up looking like. If you play your cards right, you can make a great deal and have plenty of firewood for a long winter.

John McDonald

Chainsaw Expert for

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