Build your firewood storage shed to stand the test of time
To do its job well, a firewood storage shed has to not only shelter your stacks of cordwood from the rain and snow coming from above and driven horizontally by strong winds, but do so in a way that allows the wood to dry out, a process known as seasoning. We haven’t covered firewood storage specifically in the magazine, but many of the lessons we have shared in other articles are directly applicable to building an outdoor structure that will stand up to the elements.
But before we dive into the materials and methods, first things first: Do NOT be tempted to season firewood in your garage or basement. The amount of moisture released as the firewood dries out can lead to serious indoor humidity and air-quality problems. For more on that, see Air Leaks: How They Rot Houses and Waste Energy and The Mold Explosion: Why Now?
Consider the materials:
Worried about weather resistance? Arm yourself with an understanding about which woods are most naturally resistant to rot, the finishes that you can use to preserve those woods that aren’t as durable, the factory-applied choices available to you, and the traits of man-made alternatives, such as wood-plastic composites, PVC, and other synthetic materials. Synthetic materials have improved enough over the years that some can even be used for the framing components.
Think about the methods:
A woodshed is a fairly lean structure, so the framework needs to be built stoutly and fastened to stay together for the long haul. Because the structural elements of a woodshed are often left visible, timberframe joinery is a popular choice. You can either use this project as a chance to bone up on and hone your timberframe skills, or you can use specialized hardware, such as T-Rex connectors, which simplify and speed up the process. Remember, if you choose to build from pressure-treated lumber, the first thing you need to understand is which fasteners are compatible, and which will corrode and fail. Or, consider a method we used to build a garden shed a few years ago: using a combination of timberframe joinery and structural screws.
Don’t forget to make it beautiful:
By the way, if you’re reading Fine Homebuilding, then you know we care about design and aesthetics just as much as we care about strength and durability, so we encourage you to also make that firewood storage shed not only built well, but built beautiful.