What Is A Rick Of Wood: Do I Really Need This Much? Cost?

a realistic image of a bunch of firewood stacked in the backyard of a house as a rick of wood

I’ve been buying firewood for many years for both my fireplace and outdoor fire pit. The term “a rick of wood” is one of the first things I had to learn as a homeowner in order properly purchase firewood. Getting ripped off is the last thing you want! Here’s what I’ve learned.

A rick of wood is just a description of how the wood is stacked. Typically it’s 4 feet tall by 8 feet long with no specific width. That will depend on your firewood supplier, location, and local market. This is also known as a “face cord.”

How big is a rick of wood?

A “rick” of wood, also known as a “face cord,” is a stack of firewood that is typically 4 feet tall and 8 feet long. However, the width of the stack can vary depending on the firewood supplier, location, and local market. This depends entirely on how long the pieces are cut to, which can range between 14” to 18”, with an average of around 16” long.

Some suppliers may offer ricks that are 4 feet wide, while others may offer ricks that are only 2 feet wide or smaller. Again, remember the average cut being 16” in length, making the rick this wide. This makes a typical rick 4’x4’x8’, which equates to around 128 cubic feet. Just remember this is not a rule but a guideline.

Two things you need to keep in mind are;

  1. Will this fit in my truck (which we’ll cover below), or will you take the delivery fee into account?
  2. Will the length of each piece of wood fit easily in my fire pit or stove?

For instance, if each piece of wood is 2 feet in length (making the rick 2 feet wide) which is 24 inches long, this can be a problem for smaller fire pits or smaller firewood stoves. Just keep that in mind.

chipped dry firewood is stacked around a perimeter and ready for burning in fire pit during the winter

Pros and cons of buying a rick of wood?

One of the main benefits of buying a rick of wood is that it is a convenient and cheaper way to purchase a large amount of firewood all at once. A rick typically contains enough wood to last the average household through the winter and is easy to stack and store.

One potential downside is that you may not have enough storage space, especially if you live in a smaller home. Additionally, you may have to incur a delivery charge if you can’t fit it in your vehicle.

Don’t get ripped off! Measure it.

The first thing you need to ask is for the length of each log. If you’re actually at the place, then measure it yourself to be sure. Remember that, on average, logs should be 16 inches, so don’t accept anything less than 14 inches. Otherwise, you may want to negotiate a better price!

Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that some suppliers may try to stack the wood in such a way that it looks like more wood than it actually is.

For example, they may use small logs on the bottom and larger logs on top to make the stack appear taller. Measure the entire stack and try to buy from reputable suppliers. It’s so easy and simple to check their reviews on Google.

How much does a rick of wood weigh?

On average, a rick of wood weighs around 2,000 to 2,500 pounds. Hardwoods, such as oak or hickory, tend to be heavier than softwoods like pine or cedar. It’s also important to note that freshly cut wood will weigh more than dry wood, so it’s essential to take into account the moisture content of the wood when determining the weight.

Lower-density wood can weigh much less at around 600 to 900 pounds.

If you have a specific weight limit in your vehicle, then ask the supplier about this before committing. Has the wood been exposed to rain recently? When was the wood cut? Type of wood? These are just a few of the questions you can ask them.

Will a rick of wood fit in your pickup truck?

The average dimensions of a standard pickup truck bed are around 6 feet deep and 5 feet wide. However, some pickup trucks can have larger dimensions. It’s important to measure the dimensions of your pickup truck bed to ensure that the rick of wood will fit.

In case it doesn’t fit, a safer option might be to rent a truck or pay for delivery if offered by the supplier. Heck, I know some firewood vendors offer free delivery, depending on where your home is located!

How much wood is in a rick?

On average, a rick of wood contains around 128 cubic feet of wood. However, this can vary depending on the thickness of the logs and how tightly they are stacked together.

It’s also important to note that most firewood suppliers will sell wood by volume, not by weight. Therefore, it’s essential to know the volume of wood you need and to compare it to the volume of wood in a rick.

How much does a rick of wood cost?

According to data published by HomeAdvisor, a rick of wood (or face cord) can cost anywhere from $150 to $500, with an average of around $200.

The cost can vary depending on the type of wood and the region you live in. Hardwoods tend to be more expensive than softwoods.

Where can I buy a rick of wood?

The best places to buy a rick of firewood are local farms, home improvement stores, tractor supply stores, or any other local landscape supply store. Just make sure you research them prior to and make sure they are established and have good decent reviews.

Another option I can think of is local millwork shops or sawmills. Just do a quick search on Google and you’ll have all kinds of different options.

Should I be concerned with the quality of a rick of wood?

One of the main factors to consider when assessing the quality of firewood is the moisture content, or worse, chemical contents!

Freshly cut wood will have a higher moisture content than dry wood and may not burn as efficiently. The ideal moisture content for firewood is around 20%. It’s also essential to check for rot, fungus, or other signs of decay, which can indicate that the wood is of poor quality.

Another important factor to consider is that softer woods are not recommended as they tend to not only burn much faster but also do not produce as much heat. Find hardwoods, preferably.

Is a rick, full cord, and face cord all the same?

A “rick” or “face cord” of wood typically refers to a stack of wood that is 4 feet tall and 8 feet long, but the width of the stack can vary. On average, that width is the same length of each log, which is around 16 to 18 inches.

A “full cord” of wood, on the other hand, is a more specific measurement that refers to a stack of wood that is 4 feet tall, 4 feet wide, and 8 feet long. This measurement ensures that the stack contains a specific amount of wood, which is 128 cubic feet.

It’s essential to note that even though “rick” and “face cord” are often used interchangeably, they don’t always refer to the same thing, and it’s important to confirm the dimensions of the wood you’re buying, as suppliers may have different ways of measuring and stacking the wood.

I want to leave you with this…

Understanding the dimensions, cost, quality, and storage of a rick of wood is essential to ensure that you’re getting the right amount of wood and that you’re getting a fair price. Shopping around and comparing prices from different suppliers, and negotiating the price when possible, can help to ensure that you’re getting the best deal possible.

Do you still want to learn more about a rick of firewood? Here are some other common questions I hear from people who are looking to purchase firewood for the first time.

Where does the term “Rick” come from?

Cool fact about this; best as I can tell, the term “rick” is derived from the Old English word “hrēac,” or “reek” in Middle English, which means or refers to a stack of hay or a pile of material.

It’s important to note that the term “rick” is not a standard unit of measurement, and it can vary from place to place, especially when it refers to how firewood is sold. So keep that in mind.

How do you store a rick of wood and protect it from pests and decay?

Needless to say, that proper storage can help preserve the quality and burning efficiency of your wood and make it last longer.

The first step in storing firewood is to find a dry, elevated, and protected area. It’s essential to keep the wood away from direct contact with the ground and to avoid storing it under eaves or overhangs where rainwater can collect. Covering the wood with a tarp or a waterproof cover, allowing for some slight ventilation, can help to keep it dry.

Stack the wood in a way that allows for good air circulation to help the wood dry out, such as in a criss-cross pattern.

Keep pests in mind when storing firewood. Termites, beetles, and other insects are attracted to moist wood and can burrow into it and consume it. I recommend storing your rick of firewood at least 5 to 10 feet away from your home.

Keeping firewood off the ground and away from the house can help to prevent pests from infesting the wood.

Can you negotiate the price on a rick of wood?

Yes! In most cases, firewood suppliers are open to negotiation, especially when buying in bulk. Unless you’re buying directly from a large home improvement store. That would be more difficult.

But with local vendors, you can negotiate the price based on the quantity you’re buying and the payment method. Buying a rick of wood in bulk may also be a more cost-effective option.

There’s no reason to be afraid to ask for a discount, negotiate the price, and compare prices from different suppliers.

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