From a very long time burning wood and preparing it for burning (in Maine, I’d buy 20′ logs and buck them into stove-lengths; we went through about 6 cords a winter) I have some observations to pass along on the subject, as follows:
There are two things to watch for with traditional wood providers – dryness and volume. A log split this fall will still be green, even if the tree it came from was cut down last year. You want wood that’s been split and dried for a year. Most firewood dealers I know will lie to you about this but check the ends of a few logs – they should be grey and have lots of small split lines. If not (or worse, if the stuff hisses in the fireplace, the result of water that shouldn’t be in the wood turning to steam and escaping) you’ve been had.
Volume is tricky: a full cord is 4′X4′X8′ : four feet tall, four feet wide, eight feet long. Most wood suppliers fill a small dump truck with wood and spill it over your driveway. You won’t know you’ve been ripped off until you stack the logs and see how they (don’t) measure up. My advice is to pay extra for the deliverymen to stack it and don’t pay for the stuff until you’ve had a chance to measure the pile, either with a tape measure or by eye – the precision required depends on your personality. You can then tell immediately whether you’ve received a full cord and if not, either demand more or pay less. There’s nothing wrong with a half-cord, you just shouldn’t be charged for a cord and receive 1/2, even though most dealers will insist that “everyone does this” and “no one actually delivers a full cord”. BS.
Here are some local firewood dealers recommended by readers:
Brian Krois – Riverside (203) 496-1241 Bkrois@optonline.net
$200 1/2 cord
$150 1/4 cord
Stacking extra and price depends on location of your woodpile (i.e., if it has to be schlepped around back and up a cliff, you’ll pay more)
Gus Cantevero (Ada’s nephew) – Riverside (203) 637-5084 $225 a cord (I think – ask) plus stacking. Also sells smaller amounts.
Vermont Good Wood – Old Greenwich (203) 637 – 5200 VermontGoodwood.com
Kiln dried and stacked so much more expensive but people who’ve tried it love it. Your call – and your wallet.