Top Ten Tips for Buying and Storing Firewood

August 31st, 2008 by Brad Crooks

Winter will be here soon, which has you thinking about buying wood for some roaring fires during the coming months.  Before you shop, review these tips to make sure you get the best value for your money when buying and storing firewood.

  1. Make sure the wood was cut at least six to eight months ago, so that it’s had enough time to become seasoned (dry out) before you start to use it.Storing Firewood In A Log Holder - Home Of Decor 

  2. Look for wood that has an even color and no signs of green.  Green wood will be heavier because it still contains a high amount of water.  Seasoned wood frequently has darkened ends and the pieces feel lighter.

  3. Split wood will dry faster because there’s more surface area exposed to air.

  4. Know how much wood you are buying.  A cord of wood is 128 cubic feet, usually 8 feet long, 4 feet tall and 4 feet deep.  A face cord of wood is also 8 feet long and 4 feet tall, but only as deep as the wood is cut.

  5. Dense woods like oak, hickory, and sugar maple will cost more but burn longer. 

  6. Determine the length of the pieces you’ll need in advance, so you won’t have to re-cut the wood later, or make lots of trips to the wood pile because the pieces are too short.  Measure the length of your grate to make sure you get the right size.

  7. Store the wood securely at least a few inches above the ground, preferably on a log rack, with good air flow so that it will remain dry until needed.  Cover the wood with a tarp, weighed down so it won’t blow away.

  8. Rotten wood and mud tubes in the logs could be signs of termites.  For this reason, don’t store the firewood closer than 15 feet to your house. 

  9. Bring the wood into the house the day before you plan to use it so it can dry out more, but don’t bring in more than two days worth in case of bugs or mold in the timber.

  10. Don’t use construction scraps, especially from decks or landscaping ties.  These can actually contain dangerous amounts of toxic compounds, releasing things like arsenic into your home.
Listen to Top Ten Tips for Buying and Storing Firewood
Listen to Top Ten Tips for Buying and Storing Firewood

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What Is A Fireback?

January 22nd, 2008 by Brad Crooks

A fireback is a cast iron plateClick Here To Buy - Spring Fireback From HomeClick which attaches to the back of the firebox.  Originally designed for wood-burning fireplaces, firebacks  can now also be used with gas log fireplaces as well.

Normally a great deal of the heat from a wood fire escapes up the chimney, while more heat is absorbed by the brick in the back wall.  A fireback captures much

of that heat and reflects it back into the room, making any wood-burning fireplace much more efficient.  Additionally a fireback protects

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Listen to What Is A Fireback?

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Gas Fireplace Logs – A Great Alternative to the Real Thing

January 10th, 2008 by Brad Crooks

Another town in California just passed a law prohibiting wood-burning fireplaces in all new construction due to concerns Shop Now - Gas Fireplace Logs over smoke.  We live in Colorado, and we too are restricted to a gas fireplace because of pollution concerns.  It has to do with air inversions caused by the mountains, and a bunch of other technical Ventless Fireplace Gas Logs From stuff that’s way over my head.  But even though our fireplace has gas fireplace logs, I still enjoy sitting in front of the fire just as much!

One thing that really helps is having realistic logs in the fireplace.  Vented gas logs (for fireplaces that have a damper and could burn real wood) look more realistic than ventless gas logs (no damper), but seriously, I have no complaints along either line.  The manufacturers have worked very hard to make sure that their fireplace gas logs look as great as they work.

Our fireplace is ventless, which means it’s very efficient in producing heat too.  Basically it’s a furnace with a window!  But the flames still dance between the logs, and the embers glow from the heat, just like any wood fire.  In fact our Siberian Husky loves to just stare at the flames, watching the flicker and loving the warmth.

So even if your town decides that you can’t have a wood burning fireplace anymore, don’t despair!  There are plenty of great choices in gas fireplace logs that will give you all the joys of a fire and still keep the city county happy.

Listen to Gas Fireplace Logs – A Great Alternative to the Real Thing
Listen to Gas Fireplace Logs – A Great Alternative to the Real Thing

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Get Bold and Brassy – Choose a Brass Fireplace Screen!

January 7th, 2008 by Brad Crooks

I just love the look of brass accessories with a fireplace.  We have a brass and black wrought iron toolset next to our firebox, Brass Fireplace Screen Shop and I love the way the brass handles shimmer in contrast to the black tools.  To accentuate that contrast, I’m considering adding a brass fireplace screen to the mix.  We have a gas fireplace,4 Fold Solid Brass Fireplace Screen From so a fireplace screen isn’t required, but if you think about it, having a gas fireplace gives us unlimited choices in fire place screens because there are no worries about the screen’s functionality.

Brass fireplace screens come in so many different choices.  I’m considering a traditionally designed fireplace screen with classic arches on top.  The best choice to match our fireplace toolset would be a black and brass fireplace screen, with the vertical bars in black and the arches in brass.  The polished brass is my favorite, but many people like the look of an antique brass finish.  Fortunately just about every style of fireplace screen is available in both polished and antique brass – check them out in our brass fireplace screen shop.

Have you seen the solid brass fireplace screens?  These brass screens absolutely shimmer in the firelight.  Being made of solid brass makes them weigh more than the brass-finished screens, and makes them more expensive too, but in addition to the amazing beauty of the brass, solid brass screens can always be polished back to their original beauty, while brass that has been electroplated on steel or zinc screens will eventually wear out through use and cleaning.

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Listen to Get Bold and Brassy – Choose a Brass Fireplace Screen!

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Show Your Team Spirit with a Collegiate Fireplace Screen

November 29th, 2007 by Brad Crooks

Even though we now live in Colorado, we’re still University of Illinois football fans, probably because our niece graduated from U of I.  She will always be a Fighting Illini, and when we saw the house she rented, we weren’t surprised to Collegiate Fireplace Screens From find orange and blue memorabilia incorporated into the furnishings.  Since she had a wood burning fireplace, I couldn’t resist telling her about one more way to love her team – with a collegiate fireplace screen sporting the team logo.

The screen is a three panel black wrought iron frame, with scroll work above and below the oval stained glass logo.  Though many stained glass fireplace screens can’t be used with a fire, the glass on these screens is tempered, which means that you can cheer on your favorite team through the bowl games in front of a roaring blaze.  Even if your team didn’t get a bowl invitation, having a team logo on your fireplace screen means you can keep the fire burning for next season. 

Some families even have more than one fireplace screen, rotating them based on the time of year – using one that can handle the heat of a fire during the winter, and having a different one during the summer just for decoration.  My alma mater is too small to have a logoed fireplace screen (we were a Division III school), but if you attended one of the big schools, here’s your chance to show your team a little more love on game day!

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Listen to Show Your Team Spirit with a Collegiate Fireplace Screen

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Keep Fireplace Safety A Priority

November 22nd, 2007 by jeff

We live in Colorado. Even though it was in the 60’s yesterday, the ground was covered in snow this morning. We know for sure – winter is here! And that means it is time to get fireplaces ready for the winter season. With a little bit of maintenance and some fireplace safety tips, you and your family can safely enjoy the warmth and beauty of a fire on those cold winter nights.

Before lighting your first fire, have your fireplace checked out by a professional. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, make sure that creosote has not built up in the chimney from last year’s fires. You can find a certified chimney sweep in your area just by entering your zip code on the Chimney Safety Institute of America website.

Even if you have a vented or ventless gas fireplace, it is a good idea to have that inspected every few years as well, to make sure that gas connections like the thermocouple are tight and secure. Most plumbers can inspect your fireplace; can also help you find a contractor in your area.

Use a fireplace screen that is larger than the firebox opening, to prevent any sparks or burning embers from escaping a crackling fire. Fireplace screens come in a variety of styles and designs from simple one panel mesh screens to great tempered stain glass screens featuring the logo of your favorite college or pro teams.

Choose seasoned wood that was cut at least one year ago, and do not burn stuff like magazines, wrapping paper or cardboard boxes. Never burn charcoal in your fireplace because it produces carbon monoxide.

Finally, make sure that your fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed. One other way to play it safe is to keep the fireplace screen in front of the fireplace even after the fire is out, just in case one sneaky little ember remains. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby for a little extra peace of mind.

Fireplaces are a wonderful addition to any home, guaranteed to provide hours of peace and snuggles in front of gently dancing flames. By keeping things safe as well, you will enjoy your fireplace forever.

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Listen to Keep Fireplace Safety A Priority

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Fireplace Accessories Online

September 29th, 2007 by jeff

Fireplaces can be the center of our room, even our home. This blog is dedicated to making the most of your fireplace, from designing and decorating to enjoying it every day of the year. Here you’ll find information on choosing gas logs, selecting a fireplace mantel, picking a fireplace screen or tool set, taking care of your fireplace, and even ideas to use during the summer when it is too warm for a fire.

We look forward to sharing each idea with you, as well as information on special sales or deals that can help you save money on your fireplace. So whether you are looking for the right fireplace mantle or candelabra, we’ll do our best to help you find just what you are searching for.

Listen to Fireplace Accessories Online
Listen to Fireplace Accessories Online

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