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Old 01-10-2009, 04:09 PM   #1
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Buying bulk lumber?


Where is the best place to buy bulk lumber? Is there somewhere to buy and have it shipped that would be cheaper than Lowes or Home Depot? I am building a new house and i am almost done with the footing/block work and ready to buy wood. I am not going to start framing till i have all the material to dry it in, so i was looking for a good supplier. The house is only 1200 sq. ft. but that is alot of money in wood to someone broke as me. Thanks for any help.....shane

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Old 01-10-2009, 04:21 PM   #2
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Buying bulk lumber?


Try the phone book under "lumber yard". Might not be cheaper, but the quality should be better and you'll deal with people that know what they're talking about.

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Old 01-10-2009, 04:42 PM   #3
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Buying bulk lumber?


Your best service is going to be at a local lumber yard. Drop off your plan and have them do a takeoff. If you are using trusses, they can figure a truss quote at the same time. Set up a line of credit so you don't have to worry about the misc additional things you are going to want delivered through the framing phase of the project. You may find they have a decent price on windows/doors and siding also.

Home Depot or Lowes may be a better price, but it's self service all the way.
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:55 PM   #4
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Buying bulk lumber?


you could also look for auctions in your area. i get great prices on quanity/quality lumber and all sorts of other building supplies at them.

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Old 01-10-2009, 05:31 PM   #5
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Buying bulk lumber?


Hands down....lumber yard. Even if it is a little more expensive, the better quality lumber will be worth it!
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:16 PM   #6
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Buying bulk lumber?


Framing lumber...Commodity lumber...Has very little profit margin. Most lumberyards make less than 10% on it, so you won't find significant differences between different yards. I agree that nobody serious about framing a house buys their lumber from a box store, but box stores' prices on 7/16" OSB (roof and wall sheathing) is usually hard to beat.

I know the quantity seems like "bulk" to you, but a 1200 square foot house is not a bulk order as far as lumber sales goes. Don't expect any sort of quantity discount.

Don't forget to factor in delivery costs from the different vendors.
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:30 PM   #7
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Buying bulk lumber?


I get that a lot:

Me: How many do you need?
Consumer: A whole bunch!
Me: OK, 10,000, 50,000?
Consumer: Uh, 200.
Me: OK.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:16 AM   #8
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Buying bulk lumber?


Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
....I know the quantity seems like "bulk" to you, but a 1200 square foot house is not a bulk order as far as lumber sales goes. Don't expect any sort of quantity discount....
Very true and clearly said...
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:30 AM   #9
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Buying bulk lumber?


Home depot will give you a better price on orders of $2500 or more. Ask for the pro bid room.
I know HD can be very cheap on plywood sometimes. I work with a bunch that buys it by the tractor trailer load direct from the mills and there have been times when HD was less.
If your in the Baltimore area PM me I can give you a number you wont find in the phone book for large amounts framing lumber.
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Old 01-11-2009, 06:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Home depot will give you a better price on orders of $2500 or more. Ask for the pro bid room.
I know HD can be very cheap on plywood sometimes. I work with a bunch that buys it by the tractor trailer load direct from the mills and there have been times when HD was less.
If your in the Baltimore area PM me I can give you a number you wont find in the phone book for large amounts framing lumber.
There's a reason HD/Lowe's plywood is cheaper, you also get what you pay for. You'll not likely beat their prices on most items.

Some stuff is manufactured specifically for the big box stores and their pricing, other stuff is manufactured for smaller stores where contractors tend to shop more often.
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:05 PM   #11
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There's a reason HD/Lowe's plywood is cheaper, you also get what you pay for. You'll not likely beat their prices on most items.

Some stuff is manufactured specifically for the big box stores and their pricing, other stuff is manufactured for smaller stores where contractors tend to shop more often.
Lighting and stuff yes but lumber, comes from the big mills and most likley they buy through a broker like everyone else. They buy so much is why it is cheaper. They have the same plywood as the guy down the street.
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:08 PM   #12
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Buying bulk lumber?


Another hot tip about box stores' dimensional lumber:

It is often sold under proprietary "grades" like select or prime. In the real world of codes and structural design, those are not grades. Dimensional framing lumber is generally graded #2, #2 and better, #1, standard and better, and stud.

They sell you a bundle of "prime" 2x6's...But what grade are they in the real world? Since the code says they have to be a certain grade to make a certain span then you're in quite a pickle proving what grade they actually are. To an inspector, prime or top choice doesn't cut the mustard.
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:23 PM   #13
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Buying bulk lumber?


Quote:
Originally Posted by SNC View Post
Home depot will give you a better price on orders of $2500 or more. Ask for the pro bid room....
I am aware of that policy. They submit it to their "bidroom", for a price. Also, be aware that the price doesn't always come back cheaper.

Also be aware that alot of these companies have changed various policies as of 01/01/09, and along with the losses they are experiencing.
Example: We used to get preferred pricing with 5% off everything from one BIG BOX company. They ended that 01/01/09.
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:27 AM   #14
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Buying bulk lumber?


Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Another hot tip about box stores' dimensional lumber:

It is often sold under proprietary "grades" like select or prime. In the real world of codes and structural design, those are not grades. Dimensional framing lumber is generally graded #2, #2 and better, #1, standard and better, and stud.

They sell you a bundle of "prime" 2x6's...But what grade are they in the real world? Since the code says they have to be a certain grade to make a certain span then you're in quite a pickle proving what grade they actually are. To an inspector, prime or top choice doesn't cut the mustard.
Good point there. Ive never looked into that maybe Ive never bought their lumber but they must have that covered somehow, that would be a big opps for them if they could not document the grade of lumber they sell.
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Old 01-12-2009, 02:04 PM   #15
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Buying bulk lumber?


My local lumber yard actually had a much better quote than the big boxes. Their 7/16 osb was slightly more but when I figured in the free delivery from the lumberyard it made sense to get it all from the lumberyard, save the hassle of another trip to get the osb and have everything show up at once on one truck. They placed the materials exactly where I wanted them and I didn't break a sweat.

Don't let them do the take off. Do your own so you control what you get and ask several places to give you a quote for your materials list. That way you can compare the quotes fairly. Besides, everyone does takeoffs a little different and you might not be happy with their interpretation of the plans.

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