Building a Holz Hausen | A Stand Alone Firewood Storage
Building a holz hausen allows individuals to stack wood using a free standing method. This European method for firewood storage minimizes the use of lumber, allowing it to be constructed where trees have been dropped.
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For many, a wood stove is one of the most romantic feature in a home. However, for individuals who use wood as a primary source of heat a wood stove is a necessity. Because of this very reason homesteaders spend countless hours collecting and stacking firewood.
Additionally, the cost of oil, propane and electricity is astronomical for many. Whereas, the use of firewood minimizes the need for an additional heat source.
Here are a few tips and trick to keeping warm, as well as, utilizing natural kindling options to start a fire. Also, a DIY wood box constructed out of pallets is ideal for those who wish to keep a cord or two of wood close to the front door.
- Natural Fire Starting Material
- Using Wood Heat – Simple Tips for Staying Warm
- 15 Ways to Stay Warm without Turning Up the Heat
- DIY Wood Box for Firewood Storage
- 10 Hacks for Drying Firewood Fast
- Warming Healing Golden Milk Spiced Chia
The Benefits of Stand Alone Structure
Utilizing a holz hausen as a method for stacking wood has been around for centuries. Stacking firewood in this fashion began in Europe.
As landowners cleared the land the wood was split and left in the fields to dry. This method for stacking wood was then brought to America by European settlers.
The holz hausen is a circular self-standing structure which does not require bracing. Making it much more durable than any other method constructed.
Building a holz hausen allows the wood to dry much quicker than if it were to be stacked the traditional way. Because the wood is stacked in a downward motion water is prevented from absorbing into the cut wood.
One last tip, wood dries much quicker rate using this method. In fact, twice as fast. How is this possible? Air flow is increased with this firewood method.
Steps for Building a Holz Hausen
In truth, constructing a holz hausen is extremely easy. There are no limits as to how wide or tall it should be. Feel free to build this firewood storing method based on the dimensions comfortable to your needs. With that said, here is an example of our structures. The base is roughly 8 to 10 feet in diameter by 6 to 8 feet high. A holz hausen this size allows for ample wood to be stored in the center, which is roughly 4 cords.
Step 1. Stacking Firewood
First, establish the base by determining the diameter of the structure. Second, lay the first row as pictured below. Ideally, the holz hausen should be on pallets or a bed of rock for better drainage.
Step 2: Firewood Storage
Next, add the second row of wood in a inward angle. Because the wood is angled any water will easily run off the split wood. Continue to stack the wood with the tapering process in mind. Add spacers every few rows to ensure the firewood continues to angle downward. How often spacers are added will depend on the size of wood and how it is stacked.
Once the exterior wall reaches three feet high begin filling the center. As a matter of fact, this space is perfect for storing oddly split wood, branch rounds, and even kindling.
Keep in mind, this particular holz hausen style is designed to taper the higher it gets. At this point a roof can be constructed using additions firewood pieces and bark. The bark protects the wood while allowing it to breathe.
Questions & Answers
A few questions from our followers:
- Q: Does this method take longer to stack?
- A: Not at all. In truth, it took less time because we did not have to build a brace to hold the wood or build a covered structure to allow the wood to cure.
- Q: How is the wood removed from the pile?
- A: Begin by grabbing firewood from the top layer. At the same time, pull from the center gathering kindling or branch rounds.
- Q: Why is this method better than the standard method for stacking wood?
- A: Building a holz hausen is known as a green project. There is no additional material needed to build for stacking firewood using this method.
This is cool!
Its a solid structure, with visual appeal. A true win!
How do you collect the wood from the finished and dry stack once you need to use it?
You pull from the top, circle around and the center working your way down.
Thinking about trying this with a load of wood that was delivered yesterday. I’m curious to hear if the structure still held up as you removed wood over the winter?
I did. Pulling from a circle and center was an easy process, and after 3 winters we still utilize this method.
Damn, I’m about two feet high into building my first holzhausen. I think I have made a mistake in assuming that the split logs need to sit bark-side-up. Is this going to be bad in terms of the drying capability of each piece due to the top barked bit acting as a seal against natural evaporation? Do I need to dismantle and start again? ?
Hi, We also stack our wood this way and like it a lot. One point in your article is, I think, a mistake. If your holzhausen is 8 feet diameter strait up (not conical) for 6 feet is would be 2.35 chords of wood. A chord being 128 cubic feet. It’s nice to see this method might be catching on in the states.
Is there a way to calculate a cord of wood using this method?
Determining how many cords are in a holzhausen you’d multiply the area X height X 3.14.
“Holzhausen” means “wood live”. “Holzhaufen” (wood pile) is the more appropriate term.