Alex Miller Contracting

Layer Road



Essex CO5 7NH




Phone: 07709 228392

            01206 735522 *   

          *OFFICE MANNED:
   MONS & THURS - 8.30-4.30*


We will aim to get back to within 2-3 working days     


What's new?





How to choose, dry, store and use Firewood

Regularly have your chimney swept by a capable chimney sweep.  It is very important for air to flow in the fire and can mean the difference to being able to burn wood efficiently.

Use Flue cleaner to help maintain a clean chimney (see our fireside accessories page)

Light your fire with plenty of old newspaper and kindling so you get as much heat going up the chimney, otherwise you could end up with a smokey room and a smouldering fire.

Have a large log basket next to the fireplace.  It should be able to hold a weeks worth of wood to make sure there is enough dry wood ready to burn.  Keep a good rotation of wood from the log store to the basket so you have some dry and some drying ( see our Fireside Accessories page)

WOOD STORAGE is the most important part of having a fire for heating as it is very easy to store logs in the wrong place.

  • Do not store in a greenhouse, garage, under a tarpaulin, directly on the ground or in dark damp corners in the garden as these are damp places without air flow.
  • Store outside in a specially built log store or stacked up against against a wall and on bearers.
  • Getting air flow round the wood and sunlight on the logs is very important.
  • Keep rain off the the logs with a length of wood NOT under a tarpaulin as the wood will get wet and not be able to dry causing the wood to rot.

Buy your wood well in advance giving you the chance to get it dry before you want to use it.  If you want to buy wood and use it immediately buy kiln dried wood.

If you are thinking about putting a log burner in to heat your house I suggest putting a good size fire in that can take a 14inch log and that has a back boiler on it, this is the most efficient way of heating your house and the water in it.  Beware, it's not cheap but it will be quids in in the long term especially with the prices of oil, electric, etc.

If the fire struggles to roar, open the door into the room where the fire is to give it the vital air flow it needs to burn.

Multifuel burners are not very good for just burning wood, they are designed for burning coal and do not supply sufficient oxygen to the fire. They are fine for coal and log mixture (see our Special Offer page for our coal/log package)

When cleaning out the ash in the fireplace leave about one fifth of the ash in the fireplace so the logs can sit on a bed of ash.  The ash you have removed is ideal for spreading round the base of fruit trees and veg gardens, it replaces vital nutrients that are removed when the previous crop was taken out. 

Use softer wood to start your fire as it will catch easier.  Poplar is ideal for doing this as the paper and kindling underneath the logs will catch alight first then easily set fire to the poplar logs, when there is a good base in the fire put the denser woods on.

Soft wood emits out more heat per weight than hardwood.  Do not turn your nose up at softwood it compares favourably against hardwood.

A guide to Choosing and Drying Logs

See below for a very informative guide to buying wood for new and existing firewood users or follow the link A guide to choosing and drying logs