There are all kinds of plans available for building woodsheds in all kinds of sizes. Some are fancy, some are built to match the house, some are just built with pallets or leftover lumber.
Basically, what you need is a rectangular post layout with the two front posts being taller than the back to allow for a sloping roof. The sides and back should be enclosed with boards separated with a couple of inches between them to allow the air to get to the wood continually.
The front is left open. A floor should be built to keep the firewood off the ground, but this can be as simple as using a couple of pallets for a floor. If you build a floor, it should be built with planks and spacing as on the walls. One tip is to slant your floor towards the back wall a bit, if possible, to prevent any logs from topping out of the front.
A narrower shed, built to hold just one stack of firewood, can be built without side walls, as the corner posts are set closely enough to hold the wood in on the sides. Slats are built to form the back. Some people will build a taller model with a shelf about two-thirds of the way up to hold kindling separately. These can be roofed with just one metal sheet. You can bend the metal sheet to let any extra width go down the back of the shed.
If you heat your home in winter with wood and need a lot of it, you can build a larger shed. Usually, woodsheds are no deeper than four feet, but you can build a larger one by extending the length. If you wish, you can even make divisions inside the shed, building interior dividers, also allowing spacing between the planks. Pallets make good dividers also. If your not able to build a firewood shed right now read my article What is the Best Way to Store Firewood Outside? for other ways to store your firewood.
Make a Simple Firewood Shed
A very simple shed can be made from an 8-foot length of pressure-treated fencing, two pallets, an 8-foot length of 2 x 4, and three 8-foot 2 x 3 boards. Roofing can be metal or fiberglass sheeting. Cut the fence panel all the way across about 31-1/2″ up. Then cut the top part in half for the walls.
You’ll need to cut the tops of these two wall pieces down at a slant to form your roofline. About eight inches of difference from one side to the other is sufficient but leave the horizontal board on the back of the fence if possible. Nail some support bracing if needed and attach a 2 x 4 at the top of the back wall for a sill. Connect your walls and back to the pallets.
Use the 2 x 3s to make a frame for the roof, using a center post for more support. Cut your roofing panels to size, allowing for overhang. Nail them to your frame using neoprene washers or roof fasteners with washers to prevent rain from leaking in.
Should a Firewood Shed Have a Floor?
You should have some kind of flooring to keep your wood from being right on the ground. Any wood touching the ground will absorb moisture from the soil. In addition, all sorts of insects, including termites, will have easy access to your wood and can spread upwards through your stacks.
Your floor doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You can set your shed on concrete blocks and put in a wood floor, leaving space between the boards for air circulation. Even just putting a couple of pallets inside to hold the wood will be enough to do the job.
How Big Should a Firewood Shed Be to Store One Cord of Wood?
A shed made to hold a cord is usually built a little larger than 4 ft. x 8 ft., and at least 4 ft. tall, as these are the standard dimensions for a cord of wood. You can adjust the dimensions to suit your needs as long as you plan for the same amount of interior space. The volume comes out to 128 cubic feet.
How Do You Stack Firewood in a Shed?
The wood should be stacked in rows that aren’t any taller than four feet. Some advocate storing split wood bark side down, especially if it isn’t fully seasoned to let it dry faster. Most advise storing it with the bark side up to prevent any moisture from gathering between the bark and the wood.
Whatever way you choose, it’s wise to stack the wood with the stack tilting back a bit so as to lessen the chance of the stack tipping forward. Another tip is to stack kindling every three rows or so. This will keep you from having to dig through the pile for some kindling. Likewise, any round, unsplit pieces should be alternated the same way so as to discourage anything trying to roll around.
If you don’t have much room, you can stack them in a cross pattern, laying the logs on each row perpendicular to the logs on the layer below. However, this method does not allow for optimal drying unless you take care to leave sufficient space. If the logs are not split yet, they should be stacked with the ends open to the air to allow for drying.
How Much Overhang Should a Firewood Shelter Have?
Your overhang should probably be one to two feet. You may want to make the overhang longer in the front, so you won’t get wet loading firewood to take to the house when it rains. Making an overhang all the way around keeps rain away from the wood when it comes down at an angle.
Do I Need to Stack Firewood on a Rack?
If your firewood shed does not have a raised floor of some type, you need to build some kind of rack to hold the wood. Firewood stored on the ground will keep getting damp and make the lower logs subject to rot. Even if you tack down a tarp, over time it will get holes in it, allowing the dampness to seep through.
Also, the tarp won’t prevent insects and spiders from getting to your wood. While having the wood raised on some type of platform won’t discourage termites entirely, as they can build tunnels to get where they want, it does make it harder for them and they may choose another, easier place to start munching.
Is it OK to Store Firewood in a Regular Storage Shed?
It’s not a good idea to store wood in a regular shed. Your shed is usually closed, and firewood needs really good airflow to season properly. Even after it’s ready to burn, it needs to be kept dry and needs extra access to wind. Storing firewood may introduce insects into your shed, which is not what you want.
Even if you don’t see any insects on the wood you carry in, many insects will lay eggs in the wood which will hatch into larvae when you aren’t looking. Lastly, if you intend to use wood more than just occasionally, you’ll find that having sufficient wood will take up a great deal of space in your shed. It would be much better to just have the proper shed for the wood and leave your regular shed for tools and mowers and such.
Does a Wood Storage Shed Need Ventilation?
A woodshed definitely does need ventilation. You need to wood to dry and then stay dry. Siding your shed with a solid material, such as plywood, is not a good idea. Your shed should be built with planks on the sides and back some distance apart to allow for airflow. If you put in a plank floor, the same thing applies.
A half-inch to an inch between planks is fine on the bottom, and more on the sides. Many people use pallets for flooring, which already come with planks spaced apart.
Where Should a Firewood Shed be Placed?
The shed should be placed away from the house. A good distance is about 30 to 40 yards away from the house. While you may want to keep it closer so you don’t have very far to walk to get wood for your fire, a better plan is to have a small rack within easy reach of the home, but the main storage shed should be a distance away.
This is to allow wind and sun to reach the wood to allow it to dry and keep it dry. It also keeps insects and other pests that are attracted to woodpiles away from your home. Remember that spiders, especially black widows, seem to like to make their homes in wood. Snakes, mice and rats also find a wood stack to be a good hiding place and shelter.
How Do You Make a Woodshed Out of Pallets?
Pallets can make an easy woodshed, especially if you can get some for free. Some businesses that don’t use many will allow people to take them just to get them out of the way. Avoid getting pallets that were put out by the garbage dumpster. These pallets have broken pieces making them unsuitable for use, so they won’t be of any use to you either.
Most pallets are 48 in. by 40 in., but there are a few other sizes made, so make sure all of your pallets are the same size. You’ll also need some 1 x 4 pieces of lumber to use as joining strips for the pallets, some pressure-treated 2 x 4s, and 4 x 4s for the posts.
Check to see if you will need a building permit for this shed and make sure it falls within restrictions, such as distance from fences, property lines and other buildings as well as utility easements. Some localities limit homeowners to one outbuilding, so if you already have a shed, you may run into a problem building a firewood shed. Check out my article Do You Require a Building Permit For a Storage Shed? for more information on permits and regulations.
Choose a flat area of the yard and dig out any growth. You should plan to have the shed face the sun or the prevailing wind direction to speed up drying time. Make sure your spot is level. This shed plan calls for a building that is 6.5 feet wide by 4 feet deep, so level out an area a bit wider all the way around. Putting down some gravel around your shed will encourage moisture to evaporate and keep it away from your wood.
To make your floor, join two pallets along the longer side, screwing in two of your joint pieces to fasten them. Cut one pallet in half. Join each half to another full pallet to make two back wall pieces. Next cut a 32-inch section from two other pallets lengthwise and join each to a full pallet on the long side to make two side walls.
An easy way to mark the position of your corner posts is to lay out the flooring, then mark the ground with paint for the post location. Dig a hole about nine inches in diameter and set 4 x 4 posts in quick-drying cement. Don’t fill the holes all the way to the top to allow for the cement to expand as it sets.
Have your front posts a foot longer than the back posts for a sloping roof. Wait 48 hours for the cement to cure thoroughly. You may need temporary bracing to hold them upright while the cement dries.
Fasten your wall pieces to the posts, using 3-inch deck or wood screws. Join your two back panels together and fasten them to the posts. Use the 2 x 4s to make top sills on top of the posts on the front and back of the shed, setting them on edge. Make rafters from the 2 x 4s, attaching them to the sills 24 inches apart.
You may want to space them more closely if you live in an area that gets snow. Attach another 2 x 4 in the middle of the rafters along the length to use as a purlin. Sheet metal panels form the actual roof, overlapping the panel edges two inches. Use roofing screws to attach the metal to the rafters and purlin, leaving some overhang all around. You can also make a simple firewood rack, read my article How to Build an Outdoor Firewood Storage Rack for more information.
If you are planning a woodshed, investigate the available plans online. You may find some new ideas. Whatever your size or style, make sure to leave enough space for airflow and take advantage of prevailing wind direction, and your wood should be just fine.