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.
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.
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.
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.
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.