Home Depot (Lumber) Rant

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  #1  
Old 04-23-03, 04:10 PM
BT3
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Home Depot (Lumber) Rant

Doing my framing 2 x 4 style. My little boy and I went to the Depot and picked out about a hundred really swell 2 x 4's. That's about a quarter of what I need. Took all afternoon, by the time we had them in the basement.

I eyeballed everyone of those "gonna soon be studs" and within reason was very satisfied.

Two weeks later, sitting in the basement atmosphere, I have about twenty studs that I would consider using. The rest look like hockey sticks. They were perfect two weeks ago.

I want to build with precision, and I know that the drywall will draw in some of the mediocre ones, but this Depot stuff is crap.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance,
BT
 
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  #2  
Old 04-23-03, 06:44 PM
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I sympathize with you. This can be really frustrating. Mills just don't dry out their lumber as well as they used to, and today's lumber comes from younger and younger trees.

When I did my basement, I visited Home Depot almost every day, usually for more than just lumber. I tried not to buy more 2x4s than I was going to use in the next day or two. It is important to get them installed quickly after bringing them home.

You can of course use a fair number of warped boards by using them for your shorter needs: headers, cripples, soffits, etc. Save your straightest and best boards for king and jack studs around your doors. And do your best job of setting the studs plumb here too.

I know that this isn't how life should be, but it is one way to deal with an imperfect world. I'm not sure it would be any better if you bought your lumber elsewhere. Good luck and I hope things improve.

By the way, take the warped boards back to Home Depot. They'll take them back.
 
  #3  
Old 04-23-03, 08:40 PM
millertime
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did you buy solid 2X4's, or the kind that are cut up into shorter pieces and then glued together?




and ya, home depot takes anything back (I even heard a story about them taking back a craftsman tool )
 
  #4  
Old 04-23-03, 09:14 PM
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Lumber

Wood is a natural material and will adjust its moisture content level to surrounding atmospheric conditions once it is in place. Consequently, preconditioning (acclimating) to the temperature and humidity in the room where it is to be installed is an essential step in the installation process.

Inside a covered structure, the moisture content of lumber should stabilize at 6 to 12% moisture content. Size will vary approximately 1% for each 4% change in moisture content. The new lumber should have been kiln dried to have a moisture content of not greater than 15%. Acclimating for several days in the room(s) where lumber or panelling is to be installed is very important. Lumber should be stacked with spacers between boards to allow good air flow.
 
  #5  
Old 04-24-03, 04:45 AM
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i hope you bought Kiln Dried. I purchased KD Doug Fur and had no problems
 
  #6  
Old 04-24-03, 05:00 PM
millertime
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Originally posted by caster
i hope you bought Kiln Dried. I purchased KD Doug Fur and had no problems
kiln dried studs are a waste of money IMO
 
  #7  
Old 04-24-03, 06:18 PM
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Originally posted by millertime


kiln dried studs are a waste of money IMO
thats a pretty strong opinion you made. Everyone I talked to recommend it. Please backup your statement
 
  #8  
Old 04-24-03, 06:43 PM
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Kiln dried lumber

The lumber industry has certain standards it has to meet. The lumber is kiln dried within certain specifications. Failure to acclimate lumber under the conditions into which it is installed is not a failure of the manufacuturer, wholesaler, or retailer.

A neighbor of mine had some hardwood flooring stored in his barn for 15 years (not kiln dried), but milled on the farm. When I raised the issues of moisture, he assured me that after 15 years it would be dried out. When I raised the issues of acclimation for several days and other requirements such as doors & windows installed, vapor retarders, HVAC up and running, he looked at me and grinned. His treasured wood, which he placed as a floor on the second floor of his log cabin, now has gaps that you can drop a pencil through to the first floor. May be good for air circulation and heat rising to second floor, but not good for a floor.

The point I am trying to make is that the lumber you buy should be kiln dried. Once you take it home, it needs to acclimate. If you fail to do so as in a basement installation, then you tend to encounter problems. Wood needs to adjust to temperature and humidity conditions of the home before installation.
 
  #9  
Old 04-24-03, 07:03 PM
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Patricia,

I agree with your post when we are talking about finish material, such as hardwood flooring. However, in this case, it was the acclimating process which CAUSED BT's problem. During his two weeks of acclimating his wood, it turned into pretzels.
 
  #10  
Old 04-24-03, 08:18 PM
millertime
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Originally posted by caster


thats a pretty strong opinion you made. Everyone I talked to recommend it. Please backup your statement


I really dont know. my experience is limited. but I think we let studs sit in the rain all the time. So getting them kiln dried doesn't really help that much.
 
  #11  
Old 04-24-03, 08:21 PM
millertime
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Originally posted by John Nelson
Patricia,

I agree with your post when we are talking about finish material, such as hardwood flooring. However, in this case, it was the acclimating process which CAUSED BT's problem. During his two weeks of acclimating his wood, it turned into pretzels.
Ya. I agree all finish material should be kiln dried.
 
  #12  
Old 04-25-03, 04:05 AM
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two words - steel studs...

When I finished my basement and my brother-in-laws basement, I had none of those problems. I used steel studs.
 
  #13  
Old 04-25-03, 04:38 AM
bungalow jeff
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When I think of all the beer cans that get recycled into studs, I swell with pride for doing my part for the environment. With the lumber quality dropping rapidly, steel studs for partition walls really makes a lot of sense.
 
  #14  
Old 04-25-03, 01:44 PM
danielmccoy
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I bought lumber from Home Depot for my basement framing. In order to prevent the warping/twisting you are talking about I stacked the studs on the concrete floor (find a level spot) and put weights on each end of the stack to keep them from warping/twisting. It's extra work but the studs stayed as straight as the day I got them from the Depot.
 
  #15  
Old 04-26-03, 01:33 PM
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I cannot believe I sat here and read everyone of these posts.
 
  #16  
Old 04-26-03, 02:14 PM
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We're glad that you did Jack. Please give us your opinion.
 
  #17  
Old 04-27-03, 09:28 PM
bungalow jeff
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Read a typical HD rant over at Fine Homebuilding's forums. There are contractors that truly HATE the Depot. Hate it, hate what it stands for, hate the color orange, hate to pay for lumber pencils, etc....

The HD rant posts can top 100 in a weekend.
 
  #18  
Old 04-28-03, 09:08 AM
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I am about 95% finished with my basement and cannot wait till the day I don't have to walk into HD except to buy plants or flowers for my wife. I walk into that store with a grudge thinking...all i need is some damn screws, why is there only one checker? And the wood....I did use some furring strips that warped a plenty and its the crappiest looking wall in the basement, the rest was steel studded thank God, otherwise I would have ripped it all out and started over. Also wanted to thank all you folks for helping me out over the past year...i'm a little slow but i did it all myself with no prior experience thanks to this board.
 
  #19  
Old 04-28-03, 10:04 AM
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you know you can't stay away...

JP, you know you can't stay away from HD. Your testerone won't let you. LOL
 
  #20  
Old 04-28-03, 11:29 AM
Brewbeer
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I'm pretty sure that not one of those aluminum cans that got recycled were turned into steel studs, but maybe my old station wagon was !!! lol.

HD is good for some things, like getting plumbing fittings at 6:45 pm on a Sunday evening, and putting the local hardware store out of business, but they are no good for framing lumber.

I get my framing lumber from a local lumber yard, where they buy it already dry, and store it inside.
 
  #21  
Old 04-28-03, 08:26 PM
bungalow jeff
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They started the self check-out lines at the HD near me. No line, although an attendant has to hang out and scan odd-sized items for you. Quick if you are charging or have a debit card.
 
  #22  
Old 04-28-03, 09:12 PM
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Jack the Contractor,

I agree with you 100%...this thread is getting long and going nowhere. I will however give my 2 cents worth here as I am always seeking the right information for my clients.

I'd like to point out that a Contractor is not just one that cuts the boards, puts nails in to build it...he also has to know the wood, where and how to use it to make it all work and be to code. Many homeowners have to put this hat on to do the very same thing. Some are better than others but just the same, what you buy is critical to what you make.

Let's get some facts straight, shall we? Most GOOD builders will buy from a Major Lumber Yard... why you ask?

1. Service is undeniably BETTER

2. Lumber, dimensional stock is BETTER

3. Lumber Grades are GUARANTEED to be marked accordingly.

4. Price of lumber...you pay slightly more but look at what you get?

ALL OF THE ABOVE is the right answer.

Grading of lumber is critical. Most major yards are paying for quality lumber which is graded properly. True, many local lumber yards went out of business because the lumber prices were lower, marketing that was provided induced more buying at a "All-in-One" store. The contractors didn't have enough business to keep the some of the local lumber yards open unless that yard offered other products or services to keep it above water.

When I want a #1 SYP or a #2 HF, pull it out from a rack, I want it straight. #2 would be less perfect and #3 and 4 is not so good. This means less hassles for the builders. Why don't you see builders at HD more than you see now...poor grading and not properly milled. The saying goes like this..."You get what you pay for". When it comes to lumber, when a contractor or homeowner wants a 2x4, it better be straight!

When lumber is purchased from a HD or similar facility, alot of lumber was not to grade due to milling imperfections and high moisture content. What the consumer is buying at Home Depot is not always graded properly, placed in the stores with improper markings or in the wrong rack. The issue of having lumber sit in a home for 1 week or more to get acclimated is a MYTH unless it is purchased through HD or similar. Even then, the week is just the beginning of a nightmare waiting to happen. Unless you are dealing with hardwoods, the issue of acclimation is "just in your mind".

Properly milled woods, regulated moisture content will always be virtually problem free. It won't always be perfect unless you're willing to pay for it but the process of construction and enjoying what you built for years will be question free!

Here's the best question that you can answer yourself...How much time have you wasted buying lumber at a all-in-one store to get what you wanted and then finding that it won't work when you do want to use it?

Enough said!
 
  #23  
Old 04-28-03, 09:26 PM
millertime
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Originally posted by Doug Aleshire
Jack the Contractor,

I agree with you 100%...this thread is getting long and going nowhere. I will however give my 2 cents worth here as I am always seeking the right information for my clients.

I'd like to point out that a Contractor is not just one that cuts the boards, puts nails in to build it...he also has to know the wood, where and how to use it to make it all work and be to code. Many homeowners have to put this hat on to do the very same thing. Some are better than others but just the same, what you buy is critical to what you make.

Let's get some facts straight, shall we? Most GOOD builders will buy from a Major Lumber Yard... why you ask?

1. Service is undeniably BETTER

2. Lumber, dimensional stock is BETTER

3. Lumber Grades are GUARANTEED to be marked accordingly.

4. Price of lumber...you pay slightly more but look at what you get?

ALL OF THE ABOVE is the right answer.

Grading of lumber is critical. Most major yards are paying for quality lumber which is graded properly. True, many local lumber yards went out of business because the lumber prices were lower, marketing that was provided induced more buying at a "All-in-One" store. The contractors didn't have enough business to keep the some of the local lumber yards open unless that yard offered other products or services to keep it above water.

When I want a #1 SYP or a #2 HF, pull it out from a rack, I want it straight. #2 would be less perfect and #3 and 4 is not so good. This means less hassles for the builders. Why don't you see builders at HD more than you see now...poor grading and not properly milled. The saying goes like this..."You get what you pay for". When it comes to lumber, when a contractor or homeowner wants a 2x4, it better be straight!

When lumber is purchased from a HD or similar facility, alot of lumber was not to grade due to milling imperfections and high moisture content. What the consumer is buying at Home Depot is not always graded properly, placed in the stores with improper markings or in the wrong rack. The issue of having lumber sit in a home for 1 week or more to get acclimated is a MYTH unless it is purchased through HD or similar. Even then, the week is just the beginning of a nightmare waiting to happen. Unless you are dealing with hardwoods, the issue of acclimation is "just in your mind".

Properly milled woods, regulated moisture content will always be virtually problem free. It won't always be perfect unless you're willing to pay for it but the process of construction and enjoying what you built for years will be question free!

Here's the best question that you can answer yourself...How much time have you wasted buying lumber at a all-in-one store to get what you wanted and then finding that it won't work when you do want to use it?

Enough said!


you pay more for lumber from a true lumber yard then HD?
 
  #24  
Old 04-28-03, 09:29 PM
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millertime,

I have paid more on occassion but rarely. Dependibng on the volume of work a Contractor does through a yard, some discounts are given but the benefits are much better that a all-in-store. Generally speaking.
 
  #25  
Old 04-29-03, 05:17 PM
millertime
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Originally posted by Doug Aleshire
millertime,

I have paid more on occassion but rarely. Dependibng on the volume of work a Contractor does through a yard, some discounts are given but the benefits are much better that a all-in-store. Generally speaking.

wow. I didn't think you could pay any more for lumber than what HD charges.
 
  #26  
Old 04-30-03, 06:08 AM
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Wow, had to pop in and give my thoughts too We've had Menards here for more years than I care to remember, Home Depot for about 8yrs, and our local Mom & Pop lumber yard for about 75yrs. Like stated above you get what you pay for and if you don't have a clue to what your getting, your taking a chance. I've personally picked through HD stud collection when doing a job-their help at our store is pathetic cause then you load it all yourself as well, so I don't go there often, Menards has the multiple grade studs as well and there is usually at least $1 a board difference between the good studs and the really good studs-I just sold a garage to a customer that was concerned by me using Menards lumber as in his eyes it's garbage, I finally got him to visit the jobsite we're on now to inspect for himself the type of lumber that comes with the Menards package-he walked away with a totally different view and I got the job-a very sizable job at that, our store uses the higher grade wood for their home/garage packages and if I do find an ugly stud/s I can take them back and get new ones-no questions. Now the Mom & Pop lumber yard I get a 10% contractors discount, but still pay more than home centers for lumber. When I'm doing a small addition, or interior work I always go here becasue the mill they get their wood from is top notch-there is no looking down the board for twists, crooks, bows, etc...every board in the stack is perfect, but they are again $1.23 a board higher than the best stuff from a home center which requires sorting, so yes it costs a little more, but it saves time for me, which all of us that are in business know that time is literally money, so 1 offsets the other per-say. I gave up on Home Depot even though I'm their millwork installer for 2 stores, but no discount, poor customer service, and the fact I still must sort and load myself was reason enough to keep my money elswhere.
 
  #27  
Old 04-30-03, 08:00 PM
Woodsong
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who can resist?

Really, what builder can refrain from adding to a long thread concerning home depot?
H.D. in our neck of the woods charges more than you could imagine for lumber. Plus, if you factor in the time wasted loading it on a cart, waiting in line, loading onto your own truck, etc. the cost REALLY gets high.
I guess I am in the "really don't like them/almost can't stand them" camp. As already mentioned, they are good for the small misc. items missing at the jobsite, but certainly not the place to go for anything major. If anyone has tried getting a delivery of anything you too know what a failure and joke that is. Sad to say too that the people working at H.D., for the most part, are pretty well clueless.

I judge my success in estimating and purchasing based on how infrequently I have to go to H.D. or Lowes. Right now I have only been once in about the last 6 months and that was to get some wheat straw for erosion control to make the inspectors happy.

I don't see how H.D. can ever gain a good foothold in the serious contractor market as they just can't seem to get their act together. And their prices...terrible. Trim prices are 2x's what I pay my regular supplier. I did see their baseboard on "sale" though last time there...it was only about 1 1/2 times as expensive then!
 
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Old 04-30-03, 08:39 PM
millertime
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Re: who can resist?

Originally posted by Woodsong
Really, what builder can refrain from adding to a long thread concerning home depot?
H.D. in our neck of the woods charges more than you could imagine for lumber. Plus, if you factor in the time wasted loading it on a cart, waiting in line, loading onto your own truck, etc. the cost REALLY gets high.
I guess I am in the "really don't like them/almost can't stand them" camp. As already mentioned, they are good for the small misc. items missing at the jobsite, but certainly not the place to go for anything major. If anyone has tried getting a delivery of anything you too know what a failure and joke that is. Sad to say too that the people working at H.D., for the most part, are pretty well clueless.

I judge my success in estimating and purchasing based on how infrequently I have to go to H.D. or Lowes. Right now I have only been once in about the last 6 months and that was to get some wheat straw for erosion control to make the inspectors happy.

I don't see how H.D. can ever gain a good foothold in the serious contractor market as they just can't seem to get their act together. And their prices...terrible. Trim prices are 2x's what I pay my regular supplier. I did see their baseboard on "sale" though last time there...it was only about 1 1/2 times as expensive then!
I dont think HD, or any of this "Home Improvement" Stores want to have anything to do with contractors.
 
  #29  
Old 04-30-03, 08:50 PM
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HD drop-off's :) good one

Yeah, try being an installer for this outfit. They are supposed to have the material and product either pulled for me so when I walk in the door in the morning "everything is ready to go" has'nt happened yet since January. Good news is that I get to charge them for anything over a 1/2hr. But, I get tired of standing around while the moroons look at the paperwork, walk over here ask so and so about it, look around some more, ask somebody else on their portable phones, etc...I've done enough of their jobs now for both stores that I know where stuff is at and what it is, so most of the time I automatically grab a cart walking in the door, drop off my paperwork at special ed-I mean special servies go pull the material and/or product myself then head back up to special services where the goof ball is still trying to figure out how to expedite the customers PO, and finally load the stuff into my own truck/s. HD says it's becasue the middle company between HD and myself did'nt fax the needed paperwork the night before so they did'nt know I was coming-even though after the first 3 or 4 times I got fax confirmations from the middle man with date/time sent and presented that to the stores "manager" and get a reply that it must have been misplaced-every frickin time?-come on now. I use this HD account for my drag racing play money-entry,beverage, food, etc..but if a person worked with them and thought them could make a living,LOL good luck a very unorganized group to say the least-and it's the same story at both stores so I'll place the blame on the "trainers" they bring in to teach these people how to do their jobs. And yeah I still hate their lumber-even though it's indoors.
 
  #30  
Old 05-01-03, 08:51 PM
Woodsong
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Re: Re: who can resist?

Originally posted by millertime


I dont think HD, or any of this "Home Improvement" Stores want to have anything to do with contractors.
Millertime,
Actually here in our area they are really trying hard to get contractor's business and talk about how "contractor friendly" they are. I do agree though that, at least deep down, they must not want to deal with contractors b/c if they really did one would think they would get their stuff together and make a serious attempt at making it work!
 
  #31  
Old 05-02-03, 03:47 PM
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OK Guys here it is. There are only 2 kinds of lumber. Kiln dry and wet. End of story. Wet lumber will warp when it drys out if it is allowed to. Do you know why people buy wet lumber ? They are too cheap to buy dry lumber. End of chapter 2. Then they buy cheap lumber and cry about it. Just as many above have done.
If you don;t like warpping lumber, buy the good stuff. If your lumber warps, it is your fault. No one elses. When you buy wet lumber, use it right away then it will dry in place and be straight.
Sp thats how it is. And oh yes, metel studs are not made out of beer cans. Go to some other subject. Lets all go down to plumbing and talk about lead pipes which all of your water systems in citys have. Good NIght.
 
  #32  
Old 05-02-03, 09:36 PM
bungalow jeff
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Red face My how serious we are

Yes, it is true that beer cans are mainly recycled into more beer cans. Unless you are on Extreme Homes, then they are the aggregate in the house walls.

Woodsong,
Does your HD have the trolls lurking around, pouncing on the confused and desperate on Sunday afternoons?
 

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