Timber for use as firewood is typically stored outside to firstly help naturally season the wood to lower moisture levels, or if the firewood is already seasoned, to help prevent it from deteriorating in quality.
For large amounts of firewood, logs can often be left raised above ground in the open air to season over months and years. Depending on the local climate, a roof over the firewood may also be required.
For smaller scale domestic outdoor storage of firewood, firewood log stores can be used.
Firewood log stores can provide a convenient and pleasant looking way to store firewood on your property outside of your home.
We’ve had a wood burning stove installed in our home and so we purchased a log store to hold the firewood that we bought in.
It’s located by our back door, allowing us to gather more logs quickly and easily for our upcoming fires. It was also a perfect space for storing our firewood as we weren’t using that area for anything else.
We had put this log store together from several different pieces and took a couple of hours to build.
There can be other ways to store firewood outside, such as metal storage racks, but this article covers outdoor timber log storage units for firewood.
What Is A Log Store For Firewood?
A log store used for storing firewood is a shed-like structure that’s typically made from timber, where firewood, either in the form of logs or kindling, can be stored for later use.
Log stores are placed outside a home to allow air to circulate and keep the logs dry and low in moisture content. We discuss how log stores are designed to help keep firewood dry later in this article.
Our own log store is shown below (after it had been put together).
What Size Log Store Do I Need?
Firewood log stores can come in varying sizes to suit your needs, such as space available on your property and the number of logs you need to hold.
For example, we purchased and put together a log store to hold firewood before our wood burning stove was installed. We decided to purchase kiln dried firewood so that we could use the stove right away.
When our bags of firewood arrived, we could store them straight into our log store.
Although we couldn’t fit all these logs inside our log store, we could store about 1 of these bags worth of logs inside.
As this log store was new, we weren’t sure how many bags worth it could hold. Now we that we need to order one bag of logs at a time to prevent excess logs from lying around.
We burnt our way through the other bag of logs first.
To determine what size log store you need, you should:
- Choose a preliminary location for your log store (which we discuss more about next).
- Determine how many logs you’ll be buying or seasoning.
- Work out the dimensions of the space available along with the size of log store you’ll be buying, or choosing one that will fit within the available space.
- Determine how often you’ll be burning the firewood.
A larger log store will be able to hold more firewood but will take up more space and typically cost more to purchase or build.
The main driver for choosing our size of log store was the space available in our chosen location.
We therefore chose a log store that could fit within the constraints while still having sufficient room on all sides of the store, and not being too high that we see it out of our window.
This then influences how many logs we can store but it’s still large in size and more than enough for us.
Where To Put A Log Store
A log store should ideally be located in an area that can keep firewood dry from wet weather, where the wind can easily circulate around the logs, and where the logs can be easily accessed for removal.
Log stores can also be placed to face the sunlight and should be placed on a dry base to help prevent deterioration of the log store and the logs themselves.
To help keep firewood that’s already kiln dried or seasoned dry, the most important factor can be placing a log store in an area that allows for good airflow.
We’ve placed our own log store by our back door on the tiled patio. We didn’t use this space for anything else and so was the most ideal location for it.
In this location:
- We can access the log store with ease from the back door to the home and only need to walk a few steps to grab more logs.
- The adject buildings help to protect the logs from a good amount of the wet weather.
- Although a relatively secluded location, it still has good airflow and is a wind-trap.
- The log store is placed on solid and dry base.
The sloped roof of the store helps to prevent rain from getting into the logs from above, and the raised base helps keep the firewood off the floor.
We buy in our firewood, whether that’s seasoned or kiln dried, and so don’t need to worry about seasoning the logs before using. There’s no direct sunlight in this location but has good airflow which is sufficient to keep our logs dry.
How Does A Log Store Work (To Keep Logs Dry)?
An outdoor log store works to help keep logs dry by providing a roof to help keep wet weather off the firewood, keeping sides fully or partially open to allow air to circulate around the logs, and by raising logs off any wet ground.
In helping to keep wet weather off the logs and allowing wind to circulate around them:
- Unseasoned logs (too wet to burn) placed in the log store can naturally season and lower in moisture content over time.
- Seasoned or kiln dried logs placed in a log store can remain dry and remain fit for use as firewood.
An outdoor log store provides an ideal environment for firewood logs to season or help keep dry. This is achieved by:
- Using a slanted roof to keep the majority of rain and snow off the logs.
- Not providing a sealed environment but allowing for a relatively open space to allow air to circulate freely around the logs.
- Typically providing an open front to allow sunlight to hit the logs, and to allow logs to be removed from the store.
- Providing a dry base for logs to sit that’s raised up of any existing wet ground.
For example, for our own log store we went for the standard forward sloping roof unit where water can runoff onto the patio below without affecting the logs.
It can also be possible to find log stores with a reversed roof where the roof slopes backwards and you can have a greater view of all the logs. We originally liked this roof orientation but in the end we decided a standard roof was best.
Log stores are typically open at the front, which allows:
- Sunlight to directly hit the logs, if the log store is placed and orientated correctly.
- Wind to get into the log store and circulate around the firewood.
Both processes help to effectively season firewood or keep logs dry. In warmer and sunnier climates, ensuring that sunlight can get to the logs can be most important. In milder and less sunny climates, ensuring that wind can circulate within the log store can be more important.
Our log store is open on the front, allowing air to easily get into the store and enabling us to remove logs as needed.
The location of this log store means that sunlight doesn’t hit the logs directly, but we buy in already seasoned or kiln dried logs and so it’s not too much of an issue.
Log stores can also come with doors on the front, which we discuss further in this article.
Log stores also typically have slats or open areas on the backs or sides of the unit to further air in airflow.
Our log store has solid sides but has an open area at the top on the back to help air get through the unit from the front.
There’s also a raised slatted base to help with airflow, draining excess moisture and keeping the logs off the ground, which can be wet for much of the year where we live.
Parts Of A Log Store
The main parts of a log store can include the back, sides, roof, timber columns and raised base. A log store may also come with doors or a kindling shelf depending on the log store or options chosen.
The typical parts of a log store used for firewood can include the:
- 2x sides
- Kindling shelf
Putting Together A Log Store
In most cases a log store will arrive in parts as it can be much less efficient to deliver one pre constructed.
For example, our log store came delivered as shown below. The main parts were already constructed but it all needed putting together.
A log store will need to be put together in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines. For our log store, we needed to screw all the bits together using the accompanying screws. No paper copy of the instruction manual was provided but we were sent an electronic copy before delivery.
We need to put the back and one side together before attaching the base and screwing in the final side and front column.
The final thing to do was screw the roof on and place the slatted base on the bottom of the log store.
Our log store also came with a kindling shelf (shown to the left in the picture above) but in the end we decided we didn’t want to install it as it would take up log space. We may install it in the future.
See our main article on how to put together a log store for a more in-depth guide.
Storing & Stacking Logs In A Log Store
When storing logs in a log store and stacking them on top of each other, one of the most important things to consider is airflow.
Providing sufficient airflow around the logs will help to both season them or keep seasoned and kiln dried logs dry.
Therefore, when stacking logs in a logs store:
- Keep space at the back of the store between the logs and the wooden frame.
- Keep space between any rows of logs so that air can still get to the ends of the firewood.
- Stack the logs on top of each other so they won’t budge without force, while still keeping enough of a gap between the logs for air.
- Try not to wedge too many logs in at the sides of the store as it may damage the frame.
Stacking logs in a log store doesn’t have to be perfect. We simply took our kiln dried logs straight from the delivery bag and added them to our log store without too much consideration to what goes where.
Our store has enough space to have two rows of logs, one behind each other.
We wedged each log in with each other so that the stack was as sturdy as possible without affecting the flow of air in between the logs.
See our main article on how to stack logs in a log store for more information.
Why Are Log Stores Open (At The Front)?
Log stores are open, typically at the front of the unit, to allow logs to be more easily added and removed and to allow air to effectively circulate around the logs stacked inside. Sufficient airflow can be most important in drying out the logs and keeping them dry.
Does A Log Store Need To Be Open?
A log store doesn’t always necessarily need to be fully open at the front.
If seasoning the logs, the front of a log store should remain open to maximize airflow and provide a more effective seasoning process. If storing kiln dried or fully seasoned firewood, the front of a log store may not need to remain open if there are sufficient openings elsewhere.
The manufacturer of our own log store explains that if looking to season logs within a log store, keep the front fully open and look for a store with slatted sides.
They also explain that if buying pre-seasoned or kiln dried logs then a log store with solid sides and doors on the front can be more beneficial, by helping to keep the logs dry from wet weather while also still providing some ventilation.
Our log store has solid sides but has opening at the back near the roof to allow air in.
Should A Log Store Have Doors?
If looking to season logs within a log store then keeping the front open without doors can aid in a more effective seasoning process. If looking to store already seasoned or kiln dried logs, using a log store with doors can aid in keeping the logs dry.
We buy in seasoned or kiln dried logs and so ordering a log store with doors could have helped prevent some rain from hitting the side of the logs.
For example, heavy rain can sometimes get to the lower levels of logs within the stack after hitting the patio below.
However, we chose a log store without doors as we like to see the logs stacked up inside the store as we think it makes for great viewing.
Either way, the roof on the log store is the most important part to help keep wet weather off the logs.
Does A Log Store Need A Base?
A log store should have a base to help keep the logs dry. The base should be raised sufficiently off the ground, be sturdy enough to bear the weight of the wood, and be slatted to allow moisture to dissipate.
Our log store has a slatted base and sits within a further base to provide structural rigidity for the logs.
Does A Log Store Need Ventilation?
A log store will always need sufficient ventilation to keep the logs suitable for use as firewood. If seasoning the logs, as many opening as possible around the store will aid with airflow. If storing pre-seasoned or kiln dried firewood, ventilation is less important but still required.
Sufficient airflow around logs is required to remove excess moisture from the logs. Wet firewood will combust very poorly when burnt and so wind is very effective in keeping logs dry.
Do Logs Get Wet In A Log Store?
As openings are required for ventilation in a log store, logs may get wet inside a log store. However, providing sufficient ventilation in a log store will help to dry out logs even if they have got wet.
The effectiveness of a log for use as firewood isn’t severely impacted if the log is already low in moisture content but gets wet from rain or snow.
The main issue can be when moisture is present for a long period of time on the logs, which can lead them to be unsuitable for use as firewood.
Some of the logs at the lower front stack of our log store can get wet from the rain, but are dried out by the wind.
Which Way Should A Log Store Rood Slope?
The orientation of a log store can be a matter of preference. A standard sloped roof will allow water to run off the front of the store and provide less of an opening, but a reversed roof will provide a greater opening at the front.
We had the choice of either a standard roof or reversed roof for our log store. There is no difference in performance, but we went with the standard roof because we liked the look of it more.
A standard roof also allows us to store logs higher at the back because there’s more space.
How Deep Should A Log Store Be?
A log store should be deep enough to provide sufficient space for the length of the logs and the desired number of rows.
We order in our logs and are typically cut to the length of 10 inches. We chose a log store that was deep enough for us to provide two rows of logs, allowing us to maximize storage space.
Should You Cover A Log Store?
A log store shouldn’t be directly covered over as it can cause moisture to build up and the logs to go bad. The roof on a log store should provide sufficient protection for the logs against wet weather, but if a log store is to be covered then only the top area should be covered to ensure sufficient ventilation.