How to Stack a Cord of Firewood

Firewood burns better when properly dried.

A cord of firewood is a rectangle of stacked wood that is 4 feet wide by 8 feet long by 4 feet high. It contains about 128 square feet of wood. Stacking the wood keeps the wood off the damp ground and allows air to circulate between the logs to prevent mold and rot. Green wood is about 20 percent water and burns more slowly and less hot than seasoned wood. Stacking the wood properly allows the wood to dry out more quickly.

Step 1

Lay the scrap wood on the ground about 12 inches apart, forming a rectangle that's roughly 3 feet wide by 6 feet long. The logs will hang over the edges of the scrap wood by about 6 inches so the final dimensions of the stack is 4 feet by 8 feet.

Step 2

Put the first row of logs on top of the scrap wood. The bark side should be up to protect the inner wood from rain. Leave a bit of space -- no more than an inch -- between the logs for air circulation. As the wood dries, it shrinks and will take up less space. Firewood logs are cut to about 18 inches to 24 inches long. There is room for two lengths of logs. The logs should face in the opposite direction of the scrap wood. For example, if the scrap wood is facing east and west, the first row of firewood logs should be facing north and south.

Step 3

Place the second row of logs on top of the first row leaving about an inch between each log and facing in the opposite direction. If the first row is facing north and south, second row should face east and west.

Step 4

Continue stacking the wood in alternating directions until the stack is about 4 feet high.


If the stacked wood doesn't want to stay stacked, pound in a sturdy round 4-foot-long piece of wood at each end of the stack. Cover the wood stack with black plastic to hasten drying in the summer and to repel the rain.


Insects make their home in stacked wood kept outside.