Are you about to undertake a woodworking project, such as building a deck or a fence? One of the first things you'll need to do, once you have plans, is find a lumber supplier. This is a little different when you're buying wood for a home DIY project than for a professional woodworking company. You'll need to find a supplier who can meet your needs as a one-time or several-time customer. Here are some questions to ask as you consider different lumber vendors in your area.
What is the smallest order they can fill?
Some lumber yards work exclusively with businesses such as cabinet shops and flooring installers. They may not be set up to fill small orders, such as an order that only includes enough wood for one deck. So, before you assume a certain lumber yard can fill your order, ask about their minimums. Also, ask what rate they'll charge for an order your size. They may have to charge a little more per unit than they charge for larger orders.
Will they help load the wood for you?
At some lumber yards, there are employees who help load the wood into a truck or trailer for you. This can be incredibly helpful if you are undertaking a DIY project and don't have people to come with you and help you load. If the lumber yard you're considering does not help buyers load, you may want to call some friends and ask them to help you out. Larger pieces of wood can be hard to lift solo, and you can become fatigued even with smaller pieces if you lift too many on your own.
Do they allow you to select the boards?
This is more important if you're building something that you want to look nice versus something purely structural. Some lumber yards will let you choose your boards so you can get ones that are the straightest, have the fewest knots, have the nicest grain, and so forth. Other yards do not do this, although they will generally allow you to return or exchange any boards that are objectively flawed. Know what the lumber yard's standards are before you buy from them. With a small DIY project, any amount of boards you can't use is undesirable.
Choosing a lumber supplier for a DIY job takes some time and attention to detail. If you have several lumber yards in your area to choose from, then you can afford to compare and contrast your options.
Reach out to a local lumber supplier for more information.