The Right Firewood Is the Secret to a Safe, Cozy Fire

Choosing the Best Firewood is Easy

Our cold Winchester County, New York winters are perfect for cozying up to a crackling fire. A safe fire depends on the right kind of wood. Landwork Contractors has a few tips about choosing firewood to keep you warm and safe this winter.

What is Bad Wood?

Bad wood can damage your chimney, your home, and your health. When it comes to using any wood other than dried and split firewood, it’s always a case of better safe than sorry. When choosing firewood, avoid these things:

  • Treated, Painted or Previously Used Wood- Wood from furniture, toys or construction can contain chemicals that create fumes. The fumes can poison you or make you sick.
  • Wet Wood
  • Fresh cut wood is wet wood. Fresh cut wood contains over 40% water.
  • Wet wood takes more energy to burn.
  • Wet wood creates creosote buildup on your chimney
  • Wet wood causes more house fires.
  • Wet Wood can contain mold which leads to major health issues.

    Christmas Trees

  • Christmas trees do not belong in your fireplace. In seconds, your home could be engulfed in flames. Sap from firs creates more creosote residue.


Choosing the Right Wood

A warm, safe and long-lasting fire depends on dry wood. Dry wood will burn quicker, longer and cleaner than wet or damp wood. Unlike fresh cut wood, dry wood will have around 20% moisture.  Finding the right wood for your fireplace is easy, follow these tips from your trusted landscapers in Westchester County.

  • Always choose seasoned wood which is dried wood that was cut 6 months to a year earlier.
  • Use logs no bigger than 6 to 8 inches around and somewhere between 16 and 18 inches long. They stay dry and burn better.
  • Look for wood that has darker ends and easily visible splits or cracks in it.
  • The wood should make a ringing sound and not a thud.
  • If you aren’t sure, purchase a moisture meter to check your wood for moisture.


Firewood is purchased by the cord or fractions of a cord. Cords are wood piles measuring 8ft long x 4ft tall x 4ft deep. Many people prefer to buy cords of wood instead of spending hours chopping wood in advance. Landwork Contractors provides ready to burn cords the following packages:

  • ½ Cord of wood  –  $215.00
  • 1  Cord of Wood  –  $260.00
  • 2  Cords of Wood –  $475.00

The wood can be delivered to you and even stacked at an extra cost, depending on where your wood shed is.


Properly stored wood can give you a stockpile for up to 3 to 4 years. Improperly stored wood increases pest problems, or worse, fires. Use the following rules:

  • Store stockpiles of wood away from the house. Firewood placed near homes can cause termite damage.
  • Use a woodshed with a roof with at least one open side. Roofs protect from rain or snow and open sides allow moisture to escape.
  • No Woodshed? Place a tarp over the woodpile, leaving exposed sides for moisture to get out.
  • Keep wood off of the ground, on a tarp or concrete surface. Bugs and moisture increase when wood is on the ground.
  • Do not store firewood or place furniture within 3 feet of your hearth. Stray coals and embers can quickly catch materials on fire.
  • A week’s worth of wood can be kept closer to the house, as long as you follow the dame rules.

Get Those Fires Roaring

If all of this seems overwhelming, Landwork Contractors is here to help. Our friendly and knowledgeable team is here to answer any questions. We can have your wood stocked up in no time. Call us at 914-479-2537 or schedule an appointment online, while you stay warm inside.

The Right Firewood Is the Secret to a Safe, Cozy Fire was last modified: January 29th, 2016 by Annalisa Ruggiero