Navigating The Lumber Aisle

Stack of lumber in East Brookfield, MA

Navigating the lumber aisle at a lumberyard can be overwhelming, especially if you're not exactly sure what you're looking for. By preparing yourself with knowledge beforehand, you will gain the confidence you need to know you’re making the right choices.

Begin by familiarizing yourself with the different types of wood available. Hardwoods such as oak and maple are typically used for furniture and cabinetry due to their durability and fine finish, while softwoods like spruce and pine are often chosen for construction projects because of their lower cost and easier handling.

It's also important to understand lumber grades, which are indicators of both appearance and structural integrity. Higher grades, such as "Select," have fewer knots and imperfections, making them ideal for projects where aesthetics are important. On the other hand, lower grades of lumber are more cost effective and suitable for structural applications where appearance is less of a concern. Consider what types of woods would be most suitable for your project at hand, and make sure to identify if any portions of your woodworking require specialty types of lumber, such pressure-treated wood for outdoor applications.

Before heading to the lumberyard, make sure you know the exact dimensions needed for your project, including length, width, and thickness. This will guide your purchasing decisions as well as prepare you for any custom cut requests you may need to make while you’re there.

Once you’re at the lumberyard, take the time to inspect each piece of lumber for defects such as warping, knots, and splits. Selecting high-quality pieces ensures the longevity and success of your project. Don't hesitate to ask store employees for help; they can provide valuable insights and assistance in selecting the right wood, making cuts, and even advising on project specifics.

Make sure you plan ahead for transporting the lumber back to your project site. If you cannot move the lumber yourself, ask the store about delivery options. For those transporting lumber via personal vehicle, ensure you have the necessary equipment, such as tie-downs, to secure the wood safely.

Finally, take your time. Ask questions if you aren’t sure about anything. Rushing through your selection process could lead you to purchase unsuitable materials, which could ultimately hinder your project, costing you more time and money in the long run.

Come See Howe

Howe Lumber is here to help answer any questions you have about your lumber needs. Since 1965 we have been committed to helping customers from frame to finish. In addition to stocking a variety of materials for all your construction needs, we also offer kitchen and bath design, deck design, door and window measures and estimating services. Come visit our 3,000 sq. ft. showroom showcasing the latest in kitchen, bath, doors, and windows.

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