How is wood sold?
Generally speaking, you can buy cordwood or firewood. Cordwood offered for sale must be four feet in length. The term “firewood” means wood cut to any length of less than four feet and more than eight inches. Wood can only be advertised and sold in terms of cubic feet or cubic meters (for instance 128 cubic feet of wood).
When buying wood, avoid buying from a seller using terms such as “truckload,” “face cord,” or “pile” because these terms have no legally defined meaning.
To ensure you have received the correct quantity , the wood must be closely stacked and aligned in the same parallel direction, not cross-stacked. To determine the exact quantity of the wood after stacking, multiply the length times the width times the height of the stack to get the cubic foot content of the delivery.
When buying wood:
- Always get a receipt which shows the seller’s name and address; the price, amount and kind of wood purchased; the license plate of any delivery vehicle; and if possible, the seller’s phone number.
- When the wood is delivered, ask the seller to stack it (you may have to pay extra for this service) or stack it yourself and measure it before using any of the wood.
- If the cubic measurement indicates that you did not receive the correct volume, contact the seller before you burn any wood.
What to do if you think you’ve been short-changed?
If the seller can’t or won’t correct the problem, contact the Division of Standards at (617) 727-3480. Be sure to document the possible shortage by taking pictures of the stacked wood. The Division of Standards or your local weights and measures office will come to your house and measure the wood. If the delivery is short, the DOS will request the seller deliver more wood or refund a portion of your money.
Alternative Heating Source
As the price for heating oil continues to rise, many consumers are using firewood as their heating source. Consumers should know that the state requires firewood sellers to issue a delivery ticket, detailing the following information:
- amount of wood delivered in terms of cubic feet (ft 3)
- name and address of buyer and seller
- date of delivery and the total price
To verify accuracy of the amount indicated on the delivery ticket, consumers should stack the wood as soon as possible. They then should measure the total cubic feet (ft 3) and multiply the l x w x h . The wood should be stacked in the same direction and not cross stacked