If you are purchasing an order for lumber for the first time or have a special order, there may be specifics you need to know that may not have been as important in the past. The following are eight things you should know before you place an order from a wholesale lumber supplier, especially if you have specific details about the lumber you need.
You can also ensure you get the lumber you need for your future projects by purchasing from a supplier that is able to listen to you and ensure you get exactly what you need.
What You Should Know Before Ordering From A Whole Sale Lumber Supplier
When purchasing lumber from a whole sale supplier, it is helpful to have an understanding of the different types of lumber thickness, measurements, grades, and cuts. Below we also discuss the role of milling services, the difference between hardwood and softwood, pressure treated wood, and how to properly store your lumber.
Hardwood is typically measured by board foot. This refers to the volume of the board length. The basic formula to calculate board feet is:
Thickness X Width X Length / 12 = Board Length
For example, a 2 X 4 X 10 piece of lumber is 6.667 board feet. It is important to ensure you get the proper measurements you need for your project as well as to determine and confirm the price of your lumber as many wholesale lumber suppliers use board feet to determine the total cost for the lumber.
Lumber thickness is not measured in inches; instead, it is measured in quarters. For example, a half inch thick board may be shown as 2/4ths. Since lumber is usually sawn and then dried, it may actually be slightly less thick than this as well.
It is important to know the thickness you need for your lumber and understand how to translate the conventional thickness to inches. Also, keep in mind that this only applies to the width and thickness; the length is what is actually stated.
Lumber receives a grade based upon its overall quality. This grade can help you determine your purchases and trust you are getting the quality of lumber you need and ensure you receive it at a fair price. Most whole sale lumber suppliers use the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) grading rules. The most notable types of lumber grades are:
- First and Second (FAS)
- Number 1 Common (No. 1C)
- Number 2A Common (No. 2AC)
By reviewing the grading rules provided by the NHLA before you contact a wholesale lumber supplier to make a purchase, you can ensure you describe precisely the quality of lumber you need and ensure you pay the appropriate price based upon the quality of the lumber.
Milling services can make wood flat and smooth and help achieve the ideal thickness. Milling services may be necessary to ensure you get the quality of lumber you need. This may include ripping one edge of a board straight (SL/E, straight-line edge), lightly planing both faces (hit and miss), planing both faces but leaving no rough cut marks (S2S, surface two sides), or milling both faces and edges (S4S, surface four sides).
Hardwood Vs. Softwood
There is also a notable difference between hardwood and softwood. Hardwood is more expensive on average than softwood and offers better strength, durability, and fire resistance. Softwood is more affordable but does not always offer the same level of quality.
Some common choices for hardwood lumber are ash, hickory, maple, and oak. For softwoods, the most popular types are cedar, pine, redwood, and spruce. A lumber supplier should be able to help you decide which is right for you according to the specifics of your project.
Pressure Treated Lumber
Pressure-treated lumber involves injecting a preservative in the wood through high-pressure processes to make the wood more resistant to weather elements, moisture, insects, and more. Pressure-treated lumber costs more on average, but it may be worth the extra investment depending on the specific purpose you have for the lumber.
Storing Boards Properly
Improperly storing lumber could cause warping. To prevent this, you should properly store your wood by placing it on flat surfaces in uniform stacks of the same thickness, space the wood to provide proper ventilation, and cover the wood to keep it dry.
Curtis Lumber And Plywood Can Help You Get The Lumber You Need
Curtis Lumber and Plywood offers high-quality lumber and can personalize your order to ensure you get all that you need for your next project. Contact us today by phone or message if you have questions about your lumber needs or are ready to begin your order.