Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Bostic Log – Mountain Cabins and Homes

A Series on Mountain Living in Bostic, NC
By McCall’s Real Estate and J. Wessier

This is McCall’s Real Estate’s series of short articles on Mountain living in Bostic, North Carolina. These articles  address real estate issues like buying and selling mountain homes and land, decorating and maintaining log homes, and the dream of owning a cabin verses the reality of living in one, to name a few. Join us often. It will be like a chat by the fire in an open hearth; warm, engaging, and always inviting you to stay awhile.

Warming Your Heart and Hearth

Twas two weeks ‘til Christmas
and the hearth was alight.
It chased the chill from the air
and gloom from the night.

As Christmas approaches, the days are getting shorter, the nights longer and the temperature colder. It heralds the start of winter and beckons us to draw closer to hearth and home. Fewer things are more comforting than sitting in front of a blazing fireplace with good friends or at least a good book. A fire, of course, is only as warm as the wood fueling it. Whether you cut  your own firewood or buy it, there are a few things to keep in mind when using wood as a heat source. 

Firewood should be dried or seasoned for optimum burning. Fresh-cut wood contains close to half its weight in water. If not properly seasoned, much of the energy released when burning it goes toward drying the wood. This may cause smoldering and creosote build-up in the fireplace. If you buy firewood, try to purchase already seasoned wood. Seasoned wood has large cracks in the logs and the bark’s often separated from the wood. Tri-City Tire in Rutherfordton, NC sells firewood. You may haul it yourself or they will deliver (828-287-8778).

If you don’t buy seasoned wood you need to buy it early enough in the year so it can dry for a minimum of 4 to 6 months. It should be stored in an outside location, but if you ground it, it will get wet and rot. Keep it elevated and keep the top covered with a tarp. Air circulation is also key. Once your firewood is cut and split, air circulation and sun play vital roles in quickly seasoning it. If it is convenient to store it on the sunny side of the house, do so. Pallets, wooden skids and shed floors all work well for storage. Below is a 16ft Woodhaven Firewood Rack. You can find this item and other firewood racks at  http://www.woodlanddirect.com/16ft-Woodhaven-Firewood-Rack-Black .

Once your firewood is seasoned, cover it well to keep it dry.

Exposure to sun is important when choosing a location for wood storage, but so is convenience. Keep in mind that you are going to make many trips to the wood rack to bring in wood.  However, storing it too close to the house could create a pest problem. Insects love, love, love to feed and live in dead wood – and you don't want them to think your house is on the menu. Never store wood up against your log home or cabin. Pick a spot that isn't directly against your house, but still convenient.  

Large volumes of firewood should never be stored or seasoned indoors. If a cord of oak with 70% moisture content was stored in your closed garage, then nearly 1,400 pounds of water would be released as it dried to 20% moisture. This extra water could cause mold and mildew. In addition, insects slumming in the wood might find your garage a dazzling upgrade.

If you cut and haul your own wood, know your truck’s load capacity. Compact trucks hold approximately 30 cubic feet of wood and full-size trucks about 60 cubic feet. In terms of weight, that’s about 2,250 pounds for compact trucks and 4,500 pounds for full-size. Woods like oak and hickory may weigh upwards to 75 pounds per cubic foot, so your truck’s weight capacity could be easily exceeded. An overloaded truck can become an overturned truck.

Knowing how to measure firewood is as important as knowing how much it weighs, particularly if you're buying from a vendor. Firewood is generally sold in a volume measurement called a cord. You may buy a cord, face cord, or a rick. A cord is a stack of wood 4 feet high by 8 feet, with each piece of wood 4 feet long. A face cord is also 4 feet high by 8 feet, but the width of the pile is the length of the firewood logs: 4’ x 8’ x 20”, if each log is 20 inches long. A rick is one-third of a cord. 

Keep in mind that no volume measures are exact. The size and shape of logs, whether they are already split, and how closely they are stacked influences the actual wood volume. In addition, though all types of wood have similar energy content per unit weight, wood is bought by volume, not by weight. A cord of pine yields far less warmth than a cord of oak or hickory.

Few things portray the heart of Christmas as well as a welcoming fire in the hearth. There is the warmth, the glow, the woodsy scents, and the call to family and friends to gather. It speaks to the best of what we look forward to during the holidays. This holiday season, may your hearth be alight with loving warmth and your heart filled with the comfort and joy of home, family and friends.

If you have your heart set on getting or giving a log home for Christmas, this home, with a beautiful stone hearth, is for sale.

Log Cabin For Sale


Single Family Home
Main Features
2 Bedrooms
2 Bathrooms
1 Partial Bathroom
Lot: 1.43 acre(s)
894 Summit Parkway
Bostic, NC 28018

Karen D. McCall

Karen D. McCall

McCall's Real Estate
(828) 245-9003

Listed by: Karen D. McCall

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