Things to Know Before Purchasing Firewood

The NH Division of Weights and Measures would like consumers to be educated before purchasing firewood.

Amy Arsenault, Forest Stewardship Outreach Program Manager
stacked firewood
what is a Cord of wood?

The term “cord”, when used in connection with wood intended for fuel purposes, shall mean the amount of wood that is contained in a space of 128 cubic feet when the wood is “ranked and well stowed." Pieces of wood placed in a line or row, with individual pieces touching and parallel to each other, and stacked in a compact manner.

Tips for purchasing firewood
  • Clearly inform your supplier of the quantity of wood you require in terms of cords. Firewood may only be sold by a cord or a fraction of a cord and may never be sold as a “truckload”, “face cord”, “rack”, or “pile."
  • Inform the supplier that you require a receipt upon delivery stating the supplier’s name, address, and phone number, the species of wood purchased, the volume of wood supplied, and the price of the sale. Don’t prepay or pay for additional deliveries before you receive them. 
  • Write down the license plate number of the delivery vehicle
  • Stack the firewood with individual pieces touching and parallel to each other, and stacked in a compact manner. Don’t mix the new delivery with firewood already on the property
  • Measure the firewood. For help on measuring firewood, visit the Division’s website for tips by clicking below.

Tips for Measuring Firewood

If you feel there is a problem with short measure, contact the supplier before you burn any wood. For more information, contact the Division of Weights and Measures at (603) 271-3700 or send an email to

Interested in learning more about the benefits and storage capacity of wood heat? Check out the video below from the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. 

Video: Wood Energy Storage

chart explaining how to measure cords of firewood

Have a question about your woodlot? Contact your Extension County Forester today!

Contact Your County Forester

Do you love learning about stuff like this? Subscribe to the NH Woods & Wildlife Newsletter.

Subscribe to OUR newsletter

A quarterly newsletter providing private woodlot owners in New Hampshire with woodlot management news, pest updates, resources, and more.


Amy Arsenault
Forest Stewardship Outreach Program Manager
Asst Extension Program Mgr
Phone: (603) 862-3883
Office: Cooperative Extension, Nesmith Hall Room 211, Durham, NH 03824