The past couple of weeks or so, Jesse and I have been in “clean up” mode where we try to knock as many things off of our to do list as possible. One of the things we’ve been doing is preparing for winter (yes, in the middle of summer) and one task on our list was building some type of firewood storage shed for our wood fired hot tub.
In all honesty, we only prioritized building a firewood shed or storage rack because we already collected our actual firewood for the year but we have no place to put it once it’s split! We had firewood leftover from last year but because winter caught us with our pants down, we didn’t have time to gather quality wood.
Luckily, we were fortunate enough to find a neighbor that had leftover mill ends which we snagged up. While these did get us through our first winter, they really aren’t ideal for firewood as they’re 50% bark. That said, they’re perfect for the hot tub!
As with most tasks we have, they aren’t simple. We couldn’t split and stack our newly collected firewood because the old firewood was in the way, and we didn’t have a place to put it by the hot tub. The only solution was to build a small firewood shed.
As one of our goals is to develop our property debt-free, we turned to our collection of reclaimed building materials that we gathered for pennies, and got to work with yet another scrap wood project.
Determining the Size of the Firewood Shed
The first thing we had to do was determine what size firewood storage solution we wanted. We figured that we had about a cord of mill ends from last winter, and since we don’t go through that much wood in our wood fired hot tub, we figured a cord of storage was perfect!
We decided to build a shed that was roughly 8′ wide, 4′ deep and 4′ tall.
The Location of Our Firewood Storage
We wanted the firewood shed to be as close to the hot tub and hot tub deck as possible since we’re all about minimizing the amount of energy we expend just to accomplish simple chores. We aren’t ready to lose space on our deck, nor are we ready to dig the shed into the hillside, so we decided to put it at the base of the hill.
While this location may not be permanent, it’s a great solution for today’s needs. We did ensure that we built something somewhat portable so that we can use it in the future.
Ease of the Build: Easy but Not Without Excitement
Jesse and I have been taking on a number of small projects on our property prior to starting construction of our house including building a deck for our hot tub, getting started with solar power, making our own lumber, building a small cabin for $300, building our own sawhorses, and even building a deck for our RV.
With each small project we take on, we further our skills of both construction and teamwork which will make the house building project be a much more pleasant experience.
Jesse took the reins with the design of the firewood shed, but the entire project went pretty smooth! Building with reclaimed materials is always a challenge because while they are often free or at least extremely affordable, they are not without their downfalls. In addition to plentiful warpage, rot, and nothing being uniform, reclaimed lumber more often than not is filled with rusty nails.
While it’s works pretty well to either pull the nails out or bang them in and flatten them with a hammer, they do pose a huge threat to chop saw blades! A blade for our double bevel sliding compound miter saw (one of the most critical tools in our homestead tool box) is about $50, so hitting a nail could cost us $50. We actually did cut straight through a nail we discovered, and the blade survived, but we don’t expect to get away with that twice!
The other challenge we had is that the weight of the wood was too heavy and the front girder of the shed started to crack and bend under the pressure. Just our luck, this was happening as I was loading the shed with wood, and Jesse was on the bed in the trailer being victim to back spasms… he was unable to help me and our structure was about to break, with a cord of wood in it!
In a moment of panic, I tried to think of what Jesse would do. I tossed a bunch of wood under the girder to try to support it and when I realized I might have a minute before it broke, I made a mad dash to the car where the car jack was located. I placed the jack under the girder, jacked it up to take the weight off, and searched our pile of reclaimed materials for something suitable to create a couple of middle legs.
I was able to quickly cut a couple sets of legs, prop them up on some bricks, get them screwed into the girder, and release the car jack. I think this saved the day but we probably should have put a leg there to begin with. Live and learn… this wasn’t meant to be a perfect structure!
Download Our Firewood Shed Plans
We thought it would be fun to share some of our plans for once, so because Jesse has already been practicing Google SketchUp to finalize the barndominium plans, he was willing to sketch up our plans for you all!
In these plans, you’ll see what we actually ended up doing, as well as the measurements. With these plans, you should be able to build your own simple firewood storage shed for an affordable cost. Even if you don’t have access to reclaimed materials as we do, the entire structure can be built with 2x4s, screws and a couple pieces of roofing. Easy as pie!
We still have quite a bit to get done on our to do list and aren’t quite sure exactly what we’ll get done before winter. As promised earlier this year, we’re trying to be kind to ourselves and free up as much bandwidth as possible before starting construction of our barn / home. We even had a little fun this summer foraging for edible plants, canning up a fruit storm and making our own root beer, which we deemed critical to our happiness.
Going forward, we are really focusing on getting buttoned down for winter, taking care of a few personal tasks like paying off existing debt, and we even have a long list of things that we need an excavator for, so we can only imagine what the next month has in store for us!
What are your ingenious firewood storage solutions? We know all of you seasoned veterans have them! We have seen some wild-looking ideas on Pinterest and Facebook. Do you have some sort of shelter you use or do you keep it simple and stack your wood between a couple of trees, and cover it with a tarp? Let us know in the comments so that we can pool together all of our wisdom!
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