How-To

  1. Fireplace Maintenance: Prep for the Winter Season

    Fireplace Maintenance: Prep for the Winter Season

    Using a fireplace to heat your home saves on electricity bills, fills your house with a wonderful and unique smell, and hearkens back to age-old traditions. However, a fireplace is bound to take a little bit more work than turning the dial on an electrical system.

    We want to help you prepare for the winter season so that you can stay safe but continue to enjoy evenings sitting in front of a beautiful, roaring fire. Read on to learn about how to properly maintain your fireplace for winter, keep your fireplace or wood-burning stove in good condition, and how to use your fireplace or wood-buring stove.

    The Importance of Fireplace Maintenance 

    First, why is it even important to worry about fireplace maitenance? It can be difficult for those who haven't used a fireplace before to understand the amount of work that can go into one. However, you should know that maintaining your fireplace is one of the best ways to stay safe. 

    The safety risks might seem pretty obvious to some, but they are still worth stating here. A fireplace or a wood-burning stove that has not been properly and regularly cleaned is at risk of starting a chimney fire. 

    Chimney fires happen due to burning embers heading up the flue of the chimney and coming into contact with creosote, a compound called "wood tar." It results during wood combustion and consists primarily of heavy oils. There are traces of it that can be found in the smoke and embers that head up the flu. 

    Over time, these tiny fragments attach to and stack up on the side of the chimney. If you have ever tried cleaning your chimney, you likely got covered in oily soot. Now you know just what part of that is.

    An improperly cleaned fireplace is among the top causes of house fires, even when fewer people use fireplaces and wood burners to heat their homes. If you don't know how to clean your chimney yourself, you can always hire a professional chimney sweep to clean

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  2. How to Stack Firewood for Winter

    How to Stack Firewood for Winter

    Have you spent plenty of time over the summer working on seasoning your firewood? Do you heat your home with a burning fireplace or a fire stove? A steady supply of firewood keeps the heating costs down and is a much more environmentally-friendly fuel source than other heating options, unlike coal and oil. Then learning how to stack the firewood appropriately will be a valuable skill to have.

    When you start a firewood stack the right way, it will take around a year to properly stack it. That is why it is so important that you do it the right way right away. 

    ShelterLogic Heavy Duty Firewood RackShelterLogic Heavy Duty Firewood Rack

    How To Stack Firewood

    When you stack seasoned firewood, do it in a way that allows it to either naturally dry out or to stay dry. There are three primary facets of a well-done firewood stack. You need to keep the firewood raised

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  3. The Do's and Don'ts of Storing Firewood

    The Do's and Don'ts of Storing Firewood

    Do the fall and winter make you excited about toasty fire pits and relaxing nights in front of a gently crackling fireplace? To make this happen, you need properly seasoned firewood that catches fire easily and burns evenly. After you obtain the right firewood, you need to store it in a place that will keep it dry, away from pests, and ready for use at any time.

    This quick guide will discuss how to properly store firewood, where it should and shouldn’t be stored, why it needs to be covered, and how to properly season harvested wood. When you have the right storage methods and accessories, it's easy to keep a fire going and enjoy the colder seasons. Check out these dos and don'ts of how to store firewood. 

    How to Properly Store Firewood

    Proper firewood storage requires a few conditions to be met. Overall, firewood should be kept on an elevated rack that is covered yet slightly ventilated to allow airflow. Also, firewood should be stored a short distance from the home from your building's exterior. This ensures that any pests don't enter your home. Here are the specifics about firewood storage and where to find the best solutions for your setup.

    What Makes Firewood Racks Special?

    When you need to store firewood in the best conditions, just any rack won't do. The unique nature of firewood racks keeps wood safely ventilated and protected from moisture and pests. While basic racks and shelves just hold wood, one made for firewood comes with a ventilated waterproof cover to keep the rain away. The waterproof polyester cover should be adjustable to cover your wood rack as it fluctuates in height.

    Firewood racks are also high enough to keep all the wood off the ground. This ensures that moisture and pests from below don’t have easy access to your woodpile. Overall, this solution combines airflow and

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  4. How to Properly Season Firewood for Your Firepit, Fireplace, and Camping Adventures

    How to properly season firewood for your firepit

    There's nothing like sitting by a fire pit at the end of the day where you can relax with a favorite beverage in your hand. This is where you can share stories and reconnect with your friends and family, or simply take in the outdoor ambiance. The iconic crackle and warmth of a personal fire can make time appear to stand still and provide such a valuable atmosphere to the night. These cozy fires don't just happen by chance but are the result of using carefully prepared wood.

    To get the most out of your fireplace, fire pit, or campfire, not just any firewood will do. Before you can enjoy a steady fire, you must properly season your firewood. This enables an easy burn that is steady and safe for your home. This guide will show you how to season your firewood by following some tried-and-true methods and with a firewood seasoning shed.

    What Is Seasoning Firewood?

    When one talks about seasoning firewood, they're not talking about throwing on some salt and pepper. Instead, seasoning refers to the process of allowing moisture to evaporate from the firewood.

    When wood is first harvested from a tree, it is full of moisture. Burning wet wood can lead to poor fires, excessive smoke, and the production of the byproduct creosote. But by drying firewood, you can condition it to burn safely and efficiently. These basic firewood storage tips will show you how to dry out your firewood effectively so that you have an accessible stockpile of firewood for campfires, winter fireplaces, fire pits, and more.

    Why Is It Important to Season Firewood?

    Having firewood that burns more easily isn’t the only advantage of the seasoning process. If you try to burn freshly cut firewood, it can hold u

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  5. 6 Tips for an Incredible Fireplace Makeover

    6 Tips for an Incredible Fireplace Makeover

    Does your home’s hearth leave you feeling less-than-inspired? While a traditional brick fireplace is a highly coveted feature, if the one you currently have doesn’t reflect your personal style, it can feel more like a drawback than a perk.

    Luckily, you don’t have to settle! From a fresh coat of paint to a complete fireplace makeover, there are plenty of ways to update your space. Here are a few of the most popular options for a simple DIY fireplace refresh.

    1. Give it a Good Cleaning

    Many homeowners find that giving their fireplace a thorough cleaning is enough to make them fall in love with it again. Not only is a dirty fireplace an eyesore, but it can also create a safety issue. That’s why we recommend cleaning your fireplace inside and out before you attempt any kind of fireplace makeover.  

    You’ll want to wait at least 12 hours after your last fire before you take on this project. This will ensure everything has had a chance to completely cool. When you’re ready, follow this step-by-step guide.  

    Step 1: Prepare the Area

    Cleaning your fireplace is a messy job, so it pays to prepare yourself and the area before you get started. Move everything you can away from the fireplace and put down plastic sheeting or drop cloths.

    Make sure you wear old clothes, rubber gloves, and a dust mask. If you have kneepads, put them on or use a thick folded towel to absorb some of the pressure.

    Step 2: Remove Ashes and Soot

    Using a hand broom or a small shovel, remove the ashes and dust from the fireplace. Then remove the grate or andirons, taking them outside to clean with soap and water. Set them aside to dry until you've finished the rest of your cleaning.

    Step 3: Clean the Inside

    Use a hand broom or dry bristle brush to sweep the inside walls, starting at the top and working your way do

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  6. How to Build a Paver Patio with Firepit

    How to Build a Paver Patio with Firepit

    Backyard fire pits are one of this year’s most popular home trends. If you’ve been dreaming of adding a paver patio with fire pit to your backyard, you’re in luck! This is a relatively simple DIY project that most people can do in just a few days.

    Laying a paver patio generally costs about $350 and will take a full day. Once that’s complete, you can add firepit in an hour or two. Depending on the size of the firepit and the materials you choose, you can expect this part of the project to run you anywhere from $50 to $150. 

    To get started, follow the simple steps below. Once you see how easy it is, you'll wish you had done it sooner. 

    Gather Your Tools and Materials

    It’s always a great idea to take stock of the tools and materials you need before you begin a project. To build a paver patio with firepit, you’ll need the following items:

    • Pavers
    • Paver sand
    • Paver base
    • Wall block stones
    • Tape measure
    • Wheelbarrow
    • Shovel
    • Rake
    • Level
    • Hand tamper
    • Marking spray paint
    • One 2 x 4
    • Bricks or stone (optional)

    Note that there are many different ways to build both patios and firepits. This tutorial will explain how to build a simple paver patio and wood-burning fire pit made of wall block stones.

    Build the Paver PatioBuild the Paver Patio

    Build Yo

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  7. Why and How to Season Firewood in the Summer

    Why and How to Season Firewood in the Summer

    Once winter blows out and the spring buds start to peak from the tree branches, we tend to put the cold of winter out of our minds. Most of us prefer not to think about it until we start to feel a chill come back into the air during the autumn. However, people don't often realize that it is likely too late to store firewood effectively by this point. It is more likely to take much longer to cut and dry firewood. That is why it is best to think ahead, cutting most of your firewood in the summer.

    In this article, we run you through why it is important to season firewood during the summer months, how to do it, and how to store it once you have cut and seasoned it. By the time we are done, you will be a summer seasoning pro.

    Why is it Important to Season Firewood in the Summer?

    Using summer gives you plenty of time to prepare compared to cutting and seasoning your wood right before the winter weather hits. There are also several other reasons why you should use the summer to cut and season your firewood. 

    The heat

    One of the biggest disadvantages to the summer months is also one of its greatest advantages. You might be sweating buckets while you are outside trying to chop down trees or find and collect kindling. However, the heat of the summer exponentially speeds up the entire process of seasoning. Unless you live in an area of high humidity, the dry air also helps to suck out moisture faster.

    We should caveat this with a warning against heat exhaustion. The heat helps us season our firewood so much faster but can also lead to heatstroke and dehydration. Be sure to stay cool and hydrated when seasoning and storing firewood during the summer months by taking breaks in the shade as often as you need.

    Free of winter snow and ice

    As the autumn months close into winter, you get more chances of blizzards blowing through, ice patches freezing over, and other weather that will ultimately stop you from taking

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