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Why Shop at a Lumber Yard Rather Than a Big Box Store?

05/17/2017
Why Shop at a Lumber Yard Rather Than a Big Box Store?

When it’s time to acquire wood for your DIY project, you have a few choices. You can head to your local big box store or visit your local lumber yard. Nothing against big box stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s – you can get a solid variety of wood at an affordable price. However, if you want a deeper, more personal experience, you may want to visit your local lumber yard instead.

Here are 7 reasons why your local lumber yard is a better option for those DIY projects.

Experts in Lumber

If you wanted an opinion on the best type of flowers to buy your wife, would you seek out a florist or just ask the guy behind the counter at the gas station that sells roses for $8.99 a dozen? Lumber yards specialize in wood. They deal in lumber day in and day out and have a vast knowledge base to share. If your project requires any level of expertise, the professionals at your local lumber yard will know what you need.

Read More: Tips & Tricks to Shop Our Lumber Yard Like a Pro.

Selection, Selection, Selection

Since 99% of what lumber yards sell is wood and wood-related products, it stands to reason they would have a far larger selection than a big box store – and they do. You can get the basics at that depot place, but if you want something specific  – your local lumber yard can help you discover and utilize something personalized to you and your project.

Before you head to the lumber yard, check out a checklist for buying lumber.

Better Prices

Lumber yards being pricier than big box stores is a myth. In many cases, your local lumber distributor is less expensive for one reason – specialization. Lumber yards are well-versed in the business of wood and how to purchase it at a good price. Prices always vary with different types of wood, but you can be sure your local lumber yard is competitive in price. 

Custom Cuts

Every DIY job requires custom cuts. And while you can cut your own wood at home with a circular saw or Sawzall, you may end up with an imperfect cut. Big box stores will cross-cut your wood to a certain length or width, but if you require any level of customization, you’re out of luck. Your local lumber yard, however, can custom mill your wood to any particular width and length you need.

TLC

Local lumber distributors just take better care of their wood. They “respect” wood. At big box stores, wood is one of many products and is routinely treated roughly by customers sorting through stacks to find what they want. Foot traffic at many of these box stores is higher than lumber-specific stores, leading to over picked and poorly treated lumber. At lumber yards, wood IS the product and it’s handled appropriately. Wood experts are keenly aware of the environmental conditions under which wood suffers or thrives and they ensure that their wood is protected and stored in a manner that ensures its quality and integrity.

“I Got a Guy”

Finding the right contractor is notoriously difficult. People ask friends, post on message boards and scour Yelp and Angie’s List for a good referral. Your local lumber yard is a great source for solid referrals. Unlike your neighbor who has dealt with a certain contractor only once or twice, local lumber yards know the local contractors over the course of years and through a variety of projects. They deal with the ones who do the job right, at a fair price – and they’ll be happy to give you a trustworthy referral.

Get tips on how to extend the life of your wood projects.

You Like the Earth, Don’t You?

Lumber yards are some of the most environmentally-friendly businesses around. Their product is organic, emission-free and 100% recyclable. In fact, most lumber distributors have near zero waste, recycling everything down to the wood pulp and sawdust. Nothing goes unused. At your local lumber distributor, every piece of material is utilized, just as it should be. For example, at J&W Lumber, we even recycle our sawdust so it doesn’t go to waste.

Ready to get started? Get an estimate request from the J&W Lumber Yard that is closest to you or check out our frequently asked questions.

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Kairi Gainsborough
Kairi Gainsborough
5 years ago

Thanks for all of these reasons to visit a lumber yard for my next project, rather than a big-box store. I usually go to the big-box stores out of convenience, but I would say that selection and quality are more important factors to consider. I’m making a custom bookshelf for my new house, and having a bigger selection of wood to choose from would mean finding something that will make my project truly unique. It would be fun to choose something exotic; something you can’t find just anywhere.

Michelle Bayer
Michelle Bayer
1 year ago

Thank you for reading Kairi!
Happy Building!

Angela Waterford
Angela Waterford
3 years ago

You made a good point when you said that lumber yards are experts at lumber. I think I need some wide varieties of lumber so I need a place where I can have a good selection of wood types. Since you said that there are better prices at these shops as well, I’ll make sure that I pay the nearest yard a visit next Wednesday.

Michelle Bayer
Michelle Bayer
1 year ago

Thank you Angela!! We love what we do and appreciate your support!!
Happy Building!

Don E Knox
Don E Knox
2 years ago

Good to hear about lumberyard I was confused about where I was gonna buy at this give me a good idea thanks

Michelle Bayer
Michelle Bayer
1 year ago
Reply to  Don E Knox

Thank you for reading Don!
Happy Building!

Aaron Button
Aaron Button
2 years ago

I would like help starting an account and with pricing.

Michelle Bayer
Michelle Bayer
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron Button

Hi Aaron we would love to discuss how to set up an account with us- please email us at prefcust@jwlumber.com or call us at (760) 727-1510
We look forward to speaking with you!
Happy Building!

Jesus Bolivar
Jesus Bolivar
2 years ago

i am looking for microlambeam at 38 ft and 2x8x20ft as well as tongue and groove

Michelle Bayer
Michelle Bayer
1 year ago
Reply to  Jesus Bolivar

Hi Jesus-
Thank you for reaching out- are you in the Southern California area? We would love to help you find what you’re looking for. Please send us an email at prefcust@jwlumber.com or call our San Marcos location (760) 727-1510 and we can help you out!
Happy Building

besfort thaqi
besfort thaqi
2 years ago

how much will it cost me to get 84 cut pieces of lumber

Michelle Bayer
Michelle Bayer
1 year ago
Reply to  besfort thaqi

Hi!
Thank you for reaching out! Are you located in Southern California?? We would love to help you out determining what type of lumber you would like and what sizes you need. Please email us at prefcust@jwlumber.com or call any of our 6 locations!!
Happy Building!

Betty hankins
Betty hankins
2 years ago

Where is a lumber yard near me where I can buy lumber cheaper

Michelle Bayer
Michelle Bayer
1 year ago
Reply to  Betty hankins

Hi Betty-
Are you located in Southern California? If so please email us at prefcust@jwlumber.com and we can help you out. If youre not in this area your best bet is to use google to find a local lumber yard and call to find out pricing, that will save you some time!!!
Happy Building

Kym Hansler
Kym Hansler
2 years ago

Looking for 4 6x6x12’ pressure treated
Thanks!

Michelle Bayer
Michelle Bayer
1 year ago
Reply to  Kym Hansler

Hi Kym!
Are you located in Southern California? We would love to help you out!
Please email us at prefcust@jwlumber.com and we can set you up with what you need!
Happy Building!

Caleb Quinto
Caleb Quinto
1 year ago

I own a small construction company and purchase Lumber quite regularly. I do a lot of home renovations index, patio covers, stuff like that so I buy quite a bit of lumber compared to an average DIY er, but probably very little compared to somebody who owns a busy cabinet shop… Sorry to say, but I have not found lumber yards to be competitive whatsoever when it comes to at least the two of the Big L and the big HD. The only thing I found, is that moldings, Crown, base, Etc are just about the only thing I found competitive at a local Lumber Mart. Dimension, ply, and especially stuff that’s out of the norm like when I do custom patio covers with 6 by 6 posts, or using 4 by 12 headers and stuff like that, I find the lumber yards to be significantly more expensive. For example, I purchased a bit of lumber to complete a pergola that was approximately 1000 to $1,100 at one of these HD stores. I had gotten a quote from my local lumber yard in the same city I live in, and their quote was $1,700. Now being a small guy like me, that is significant. I just cannot live on that. Not to mention these large chain stores give me very significant lines of credit that I’m sure I’m local Lumberyard can even come close to. Not to mention the rewards and coupons I get on almost a bi/weekly basis…. now normally I probably would not have even responded or commented on a post like this. Except my passion and hobby is more along the lines of the actual Woodworking and customizing. Therefore I’m looking to expand into offering my clients and customers extras, as well as having a high end Furniture pipeline. And currently with the price of lumber it’s going to be difficult to do with reasonable prices. I think everybody knows the price of lumber right now is just gotten so out of control that it’s even scary. Anyway my point was this is, I will be purchasing more lumber probably here in the future than I currently do, and your confidence in some of these posts with being able to compete in pricing has me intrigued. So I feel I would be very interested and maybe getting some sort of price catalog or what not seeing what kind of competitive pricing we could come to in regards to my shopping NHD store. I usually don’t use the store with the l in its name. I pretty much exclusively use the HD one. So therefore I would love to see what kind of pricing we could come to in comparison to HD, as well as what kind of lines of credit you offer, and the discounts possibly offered in bulk and or Rewards. I thank you so much for your time, and I’m always more interested in trying to use businesses more long lines of my own. I would much rather have somebody called me, then one of the big name folks out there as well. Again, I thank you so much for your time and look forward to some sort of price list for catalog.

Michelle Bayer
Michelle Bayer
1 year ago
Reply to  Caleb Quinto

Hi Caleb-
thank you so much for reaching out to us, we would love to discuss providing you with pricing and options for purchasing lumber. Are you in the Southern California area? Please email us at prefcust@jwlumber.com, we would love to help you out!

Van Trang
Van Trang
1 year ago

I need to buy a large amount of lumber for ADU.
How I can buy them

Michelle Bayer
Michelle Bayer
1 year ago
Reply to  Van Trang

Hi Van-
We would love to help you out with your lumber needs, please email us at prefcust@jwlumber.com – We look forward to hearing from you!

Myrta
Myrta
1 year ago

I am in Springfield Mass, where do i go to get help?