Designing your fireplace can warm up your creativity and be a great winter activity. Now that we’ve talked about fireplace design, it’s time to consider where you’ll store your firewood. Go ahead and fire up your imagination. There’s something comforting and intrinsic about a small clean stack of firewood in your home. You might consider a bucket or basket, small wheeled cart, or leather cradle. One of our clients chose a niche in the wall next to the fireplace. Another had a pull out drawer. Unless you have a lot of room indoors, you may want to store the lion’s share outside to keep out excess debris out of your home. Store it out of the weather, but accessible when you need to replenish your store.
NOTE: Please do not use wood which has been transported more than 10 miles from its source. Since 2013, Wisconsin DNR regulations state that fire wood can not be transported more than 10 miles from where it’s gathered. (Unless it’s from a certified WI. dealer or has been kiln dried) This is to prevent the spreading of the Emerald Ash Borer and Gypsy Moths, which can get transported with dried logs and are serious problems. Make certain the wood you purchase comes from one of the 32 certified firewood dealers in Wisconsin. You can call the WI Depart of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection at 608-516-7196 to find a dealer near you.
Hardwoods, such as Hickory, Ash, Oak and Hard Maple, are the best woods for burning and create the least amount of creosote. Soft woods, such as Pine and Spruce, don’t burn as well or provide much heat. Cedar smells good, but pops and spews ashes. Cherry creates the most creosote when burned and should be avoided as a wood for fireplaces.
When purchasing firewood, make certain it’s dry and the bark is loose. If you plan to use your own wood, allow at least 6 months for it to dry thoroughly. Test the readiness by knocking the wood together; you want a hollow sound, not a dull thud. Seasoned wood is darker and has cracks in the end grain. If the wood hisses when it burns, it’s too wet.
Don’t burn pallets, or skids because they can carry pests. Never burn painted wood, pressure-treated, plywood or chip board. These processed woods may have glues, lead, and other chemicals that can be hazardous by releasing toxins when burned.
Always watch for sparks; don’t put combustibles like pillows, rugs, or you, too close to the fire. Be aware that Carbon Monoxide, a byproduct of fire, can build up in your home and smoke can contain other harmful particles. Speaking of which, a carbon monoxide detector is a must have in every home. You can pick one up at your local hardware store. And remember to play it safe. Keep a fire extinguisher close, and make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order.
Yes, I know this last paragraph sounds like a list of side effects on a drug commercial, but don’t you agree it’s good information? Now get busy and have some fun designing your new fireplace. And if you need some help, give us a call!