Constructing a Firewood Shelter

By making your own firewood shelter, you can keep your firewood dry during snowy or rainy days.

  • Backyard Firewood Shelter
    Add storage lockers at the end of this homemade firewood shelter to get the most use out of it.
    Photo by Tracy Walsh
  • Firewood Shelter
    Use a clear roof panel on top of your firewood shelter to give the firewood some light for drying.
    Illustration by Bill Kersey and Greg Maxson
  • Firewood Shelter Assembly
    The base of your firewood shelter should be held together with 3-1/2-inch deck screws, and the center beam should be installed with joist hangers.
    Illustration by Bill Kersey and Greg Maxson
  • Firewood Shelter Cutting List
    Use this cutting list to make sure you have enough wood to build your shelter before you begin the construction process.
    Table courtesy Cool Springs Press
  • Practical Projects for Self-Sufficiency
    In “Practical Projects for Self-Sufficiency,” by Chris Peterson and Philip Schmidt, you’ll find 30 well-selected projects to help you develop and grow your self-reliant lifestyle.
    Cover courtesy Cool Springs Press

  • Backyard Firewood Shelter
  • Firewood Shelter
  • Firewood Shelter Assembly
  • Firewood Shelter Cutting List
  • Practical Projects for Self-Sufficiency

By rediscovering the everyday tasks that were the hallmarks of American life centuries ago, we are able to take more control over the resources we need. Chris Peterson and Philip Schmidt provide 30 projects that can help you get started with these everyday tasks and begin to lead a more self-reliant lifestyle in Practical Projects for Self-Sufficiency. This excerpt, which provides instructions for building a firewood shelter to keep your supply, is from Section 2, “Homestead Amenities.”

Buy this book from the GRIT store: Practical Projects for Self-Sufficiency.

What Is a Firewood Shelter Good For?

Everyone knows that wood burns best when it’s dry. But properly dried, or “seasoned,” firewood isn’t just about making fires easy to start and keep burning. Seasoned wood burns hotter and cleaner than unseasoned (“green”) firewood, resulting in more heat for your home, reduced creosote buildup in your chimney, and lower levels of smoke pollution going into the air.

Seasoning freshly split wood takes at least six months in most areas, but the longer you can dry it the better. The best plan is to buy firewood (or cut and split your own) as early as possible and stack it in a well-ventilated shelter with a good roof. This shelter will keep your wood covered through snow and rain while providing ample ventilation and easy access to the stack. It also looks better than any prefab shelter and is easy to modify with different materials or dimensions.

An optional feature is a storage locker at either end of the structure, perfect for storing your axe, gloves, and other tools and supplies. A simple bin or locker at the other end can hold kindling or provide more protected storage space. The roof trusses add some custom detailing and actually simplify the construction. You can top the roof with fiberglass panels, as shown, or any other type of roofing material. The shelter is sized to hold a half-cord of split firewood cut to 16-inch lengths, and stacked two deep. If you use shorter logs, you can stack them two or three deep. For longer logs or to accommodate a whole cord of wood, you can easily modify the shelter dimensions to fit (see Resizing Your Firewood Shelter).

Tools and Materials

• Hammer
• Tape measure
• Carpenter’s square
• 4-ft. level
• Circular saw with wood- and metal-cutting blades
• Reciprocating saw or handsaw
• Cordless drill and bits
• Clamps
• Socket wrench
• Miter saw (optional)
• 8d galvanized siding nails
• Deck screws, 2 inches, 2-1⁄2 inches, 3-1⁄2 inches
• (16) 6 x 3/8-inch carriage bolts with washers and nuts
• 7/8-inch roofing screws with neoprene washers
• Joist hangers (for 2 x 8) with recommended fasteners (2)
• Joist hanger nails
• Rafter ties
• 16d galvanized common nails
• Fiberglass roofing panels

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