Holzhausen | A Stand Alone Firewood Storage

Stacking firewood utilizing the method known as a holzhausen is ideal for small spaces. This free standing firewood storage requires no building material.

firewood storage

 

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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.

DIY Wood Box for Firewood Storage

A Small Bit of History

Utilizing a holzhausen 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 field to dry. This method for stacking wood was then brought to America by European settlers.

The holzhausen is a circular self-standing structure which does not require bracing. Making it much more durable than anything that is constructed.

Because the initial design water runs off of the wood, preventing rot while allow the wood to dry at a much faster rate. Almost two times faster to be exact. This helped the landowners tremendously when it came to transporting the wood back to the homestead.

Steps for Building a Holzhausen
In truth, constructing a holzhausen 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 holzhausen 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 holzhause 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.

stacking firewood

Step 3:

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.

firewood storage

Keep in mind, this particular holzhausen 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.

holzhausen

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: A holzhausen is what is known as a green project. There is no additional material needed to build for stacking firewood using this method.
holzhausen

 

 

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Comments

  1. Tristan says

    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?

    • Ann Accetta-Scott says

      I did. Pulling from a circle and center was an easy process, and after 3 winters we still utilize this method.

  2. Gethin says

    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? ?

  3. Stephen says

    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.

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