Visiting a true lumberyard can be somewhat confusing if you do know exactly what you are looking for. Having full product knowledge and knowing what questions to ask will make things much easier. In this post, we will explain what you can expect when you visit our Colorado Springs lumberyard.
What exactly do we mean by a lumberyard?
A lumberyard is quite different than a home center. A lumberyard will have a lot wider variety of wood products and in the most commonly used dimensions. The selections at a home center will be geared more towards the average homeowner and do-it-yourselfer.
In our Colorado Springs lumberyard, you will find bunks and bunks of lumber in a multitude of grades. Home centers have only a couple of aisles dedicated to lumber. It is usually on racks with only a few choices.
How is wood sold?
If you know what you are looking for, then the next consideration is pricing and what product is going to offer you the best value. Any piece of lumber is sold based on its thickness and dimension. If you are shopping fencing and decking, there are some common standards that you will come across. For instance, the thickness of a picket or decking is in ¼” increments. You will see 5/4, 6/4, and 8/4 boards readily available.
Now when it comes to what dimensions you need for your project, remember that not all boards are going to be perfectly flat. Therefore, if your project calls for a flat piece of wood you will need to buy a thicker dimension so that you have room to flatten it out.
Understanding Lumber Pricing
When you are looking to purchase a lumber product to “cover” a large area, it will be sold in units called board feet. One board foot is 12”x12”x1”. This is the key to any board foot formula. Once you understand the formula and memorize it, you will be able to quickly calculate a final purchase price on any product. Here is the formula and how to read it:
Thickness (1”) x Length (120”) x Width (7”) = 840
Then divide the 840 by 144 which is 5.83 cubic feet (which will be rounded up to 6 cubic feet)
If the lumber is $5.00/board foot then the price per board will be $30.00 ($5.00 x 6 cubic feet)
Smooth or Rough?
Most lumber usually has two choices, rough or smooth. What exactly does this mean?
Smooth means that some or all the sides have gone through a planer and are smooth to the touch. Rough means that it has been left in its natural form and does not have any smooth sides.
These options are most commonly designated as S4S and S2S. S4S is that the board is smooth on all 4 sides, where S2S means that it is smooth on 2 sides. Tip: If you purchase a S4S board the true dimensions will not be the same if it was rough because there is a loss of material from the smoothing process.
Both rough and smooth designations should offer a premium choice, which will guarantee that there are no flaws or imperfections. These are just as easy to find but at a higher price.
Colorado Springs Lumberyard vs Box Store Home Center
If you are not a contractor, builder, or a homeowner who shops lumber frequently, you may not realize that there is a difference between our Colorado Springs lumberyard and the city’s home center. There are a couple distinct differences that will benefit you as the consumer in the end.
Pricing- Often times your local lumberyard may have better prices. This is because like Rocky Mountain Forest Products, they buy mill direct and there is no middle man marking up the price. Also, local lumberyards have varying pay scales for retail customer, builders, and returning contractors. Finally, if a lumberyard has a surplus of an item they can reduce prices to clear the inventory unlike commercial stores.
Better Material- If you know the material you are looking for and all its characteristics, you will likely find that the large home centers do not always offer a legit product. This means that their products are sometimes not true to the definition, yielding you a lower quality product that you want.
Matching- Because local lumberyards may buy directly from mills that they have had a long-term relationship with, they can better match wood that you may have purchased previously to that of your new project.
Rocky Mountain Forest Products
When visiting Rocky Mountain Forest Products’ Colorado Springs lumberyard, you will be able to browse the lumberyard on your own or with a knowledgeable salesman that can assist you. You will find that there is a wide variety of lumber to choose from, no matter what you are looking for. Give us a call to schedule a time to visit!