Lowe's Lumber vs. Lumberyard

Reply

  #1  
Old 05-15-06, 07:08 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 76
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Lowe's Lumber vs. Lumberyard

I'm still debating whether to use Cedar or Redwood. If I use Redwood, I will almost certainly have to go to my local lumberyard for the wood. If I use Cedar, I can purchase it at either Lowe's or the local lumberyard.

I have a 10% off coupon for Lowe's that will save me $400 - $500, but I've never purchased bulk lumber from them before. How is their wood quality?

Would anyone advise not to purchase the lumber from Lowe's outside of not showing support for the local guy?

Thanks in advance.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 07-26-06, 02:28 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 77
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I had a choice among Lowe's, HD and a local yard. I found the local guys to bemore informative and believe it or not cheaper for a better quality wood. I generally do buy a lot of material from the "box" stores, but my experience with a couple of local yards has changed my opinion. If nothing else, the local yards do mostly just lumber. You may find, like I did, that the local yards are also the choice of the local contractors.
 
  #3  
Old 07-26-06, 03:13 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,130
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Lowe's Lumber vs. Lumberyard

Generally, the "big boxes" are good at selling lumber cheap. The advertising and gimmicks makes it seem cheaper.

Dick
 
  #4  
Old 07-26-06, 03:53 PM
Member
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: United States
Posts: 2,535
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Wink

Hey,Dick. Is that selling lumber cheap or selling cheap lumber?

My experience wit the big boxes is that you have to pick thru a LOT of lumber to get decent stuff.

Plus the service is a lot better with the local guys.
 
  #5  
Old 07-26-06, 06:19 PM
Pendragon's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 1,844
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
There are only a handful of suppliers in the country. Chances are REAL good that your local lumber yard has the same lumber from the same supplier as the big box.

Kind of like gasoline, no matter what the brand on the sign is, chances are 99% it came from the same tanker truck.

The difference is volume, big boxes sell a LOT of lumber, that means the good stuff gets picked pretty quick, unless you get first grabs at a new bunk. ALL lots of lumber have bad pieces, ALL of them.
 
  #6  
Old 07-26-06, 06:26 PM
Hellrazor's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Eastern USA
Posts: 1,038
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
It might all come from the same place. But that does not explain why most of the stuff is twisted junk at the box store and the local lumber yards is nice. Unless someone is buying seconds.
 
  #7  
Old 07-27-06, 05:46 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 76
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I fogot I started this thread over 2 months ago. I went with the big box store since the couple of local lumberyards I checked out could not even get in the same ballpark as the big blue store. We were talking an $800-$1000 difference for the exact same quality of wood.

I was given contractor pricing at the chain along with an additional 10% off due to my coupon. In addition, they only charged me $50 for delivery and dropped it off on a holiday.

99% of the boards were top quality with only a handful of boards being slightly warped. I was able to exchange these very easily.

I like to support the local guy, but I'm not going to make a bad financial decision just to do so. If it was a $100 or $200 difference, that's one thing, but almost a grand... forget about it.
 
  #8  
Old 07-27-06, 09:12 AM
jcs
jcs is offline
Member
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 33
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
My experience has been that if I don't get to the lumberyard a day or two after the weekly cedar delivery, I'm better off going to Home Depot and getting it there. The cedar at the lumberyard gets picked through pretty quick leaving a lot of low quality wood. Usually I can still find good stuff at HD. That being said, I go through my local lumberyard when I can - not because of better quality or lower price (seems about the same compared to HD actually), but just because I like supporting the local little guys. But if the big box store could give me lower prices and save me money, like Wubears I'd choose that. I'm not rich enough to not save some bucks when I can.
 
  #9  
Old 07-27-06, 06:06 PM
Pendragon's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 1,844
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Hellrazor
It might all come from the same place. But that does not explain why most of the stuff is twisted junk at the box store and the local lumber yards is nice. Unless someone is buying seconds.
Sure it does, the big box sells a LOT of lumber, I dare _substantially_ more than any local lumber yard. That means the good stuff gets picked up a lot faster than it does at the lumber yard. The lumber yard also gets more opportunity to cull the bad pieces by virtue of the lower volume.
 
  #10  
Old 07-28-06, 11:23 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Sparta, NJ
Posts: 169
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
When I built a deck on my first house in '99 I went to a lumber yard for the wood as opposed to Home Depot. When the wood was delivered I was sorry I didn't get it from HD. The wood was warped, some peices were split and one board was completely unusable. To top it off when I needed a few extra peices I went to HD, the wood was better quality and cheaper the the lumber yard. BTW the lumber yard stored all the treated wood outside, that's why it was warped(I think).

Fast forward to 2006, when I built a deck on my current home I went to Lowes. Good quality wood, saved $300 with a 10% coupon I got after the wood was ordered.
 
  #11  
Old 08-02-06, 03:12 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 11
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I find exactly the opposite to be true. Box stores get sub grade lumber. You may think you are getting the same quality stuff but you are not. Educate yourself and learn what to look for and once you know what to look for you will se a difference. it is like buying a steak. You can get a filet froma supermarket (lowest grade but still good) a butcher (better grade and even more tender) or from a high quality restaurant (the best grade and obviously the best tasting)
 
  #12  
Old 10-14-12, 11:47 AM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 28
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Okay, first of all I know this is an ancient thread!

In my opinion a lot of lumberyards will deliver junk lumber to homeowners-- they are hoping you won't complain and thus it is an easy way to make some money off the poor quality wood that they inevitably end up with. [My guess is they wouldn't do this to contractors so much because they don't want to piss them off and lose future sales.]

I guess this is obvious, but sometimes I prefer going to a local lumberyard because I can drive right up to the wood and often the yard guy will help me load it.

Laz
 
  #13  
Old 10-14-12, 04:13 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,482
Received 25 Votes on 19 Posts
My local lumber yard ALWAYS has superior dimensional lumber when compared to the big box mega-mart homecenters. I have never had a problem with them sending inferior materials when I had it delivered. Cost-wise the lumber yard is a bit more expensive but the materials are superior so I definitely get my money's worth.
 
  #14  
Old 10-14-12, 04:34 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 21,107
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Would you all like a perspective from someone who worked at a big box for 5 yrs? Granted it was about 6 years ago...but I doubt the rules have changed much.

When we unloaded a truck (I was in Millworks..but I helped out in lumber) we we not allowed to leave lumber outside if there was any rack room inside. If you had to decide, it was white wood in first, then treated or naturally rot resistant. We didn't carry much of the latter...but we did have some cedar.

The drivers told me more than once (millwork drivers as well) that they tried to deliver the best stuff to the local yards....since HD (oops...it slipped) went though so much. But it basically depended on the guys at the mill...since they loaded and labeled the hacks.

Cost is all about volume...the more you sell the less you pay to the supplier. Blame the contractors and builders...they are the ones that build multiple houses and decks ...not the diy guy who needs 20 or 30 studs.
 
  #15  
Old 10-14-12, 04:39 PM
BridgeMan45's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,196
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Ancient threads with pertinent information are always good. So here's my take on the subject:

When I built a 500 S.F. addition on our former place in NM 20 years ago, I needed a lot of framing members. I decided to open an account at the local lumber supply place, after observing a lot of junk lumber at the big box stores that I didn't relish picking through. The big advantage of the local guy was his free delivery policy, along with next day pickup and credit for any culls that I chose not to use (best I can recall, a few split 2 x 6s, and one badly warped 2 x 12; all were 20-footers). Another benefit was never having to touch a board until I was ready to use it--local guy's drivers always unloaded everything in a neat pile on the driveway, usually when I wasn't even home.

Fast forward to now, different state and located closer to sources of good lumber. The nearest local guy (only 2 miles from the house) is a totally different story. He charges $30 for every delivery, and has a unique take-it-off-the-pile policy, meaning there is no picking allowed. With the unusual exception of RR ties--picking is allowed for an extra $2.50 premium per tie. Making matters worse, the quality of his lumber is generally inferior to all of the box stores, and I refuse to pay top dollar for material that's often suitable only for firewood.

Needless to say, I don't shop there. Not many people do, as there are rarely customers in the yard when I drive by (on a daily basis, going to and from the house).
 
  #16  
Old 10-14-12, 04:43 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 23,091
Received 186 Votes on 175 Posts
I hate contributing to an old resurrected thread but can't resist the chance to rant.

I was in Menards the other day, which for those not familiar is kind of a hillbilly Lowes or Home Depot. LOL Anyway I wanted to buy a couple 1x6's and 1x8's. I took one look at their pile (a fresh pallet, mind you... not one that was already picked over) and quickly realized that Menards must buy a grade of 1x lumber that even a pallet company wouldn't accept. Some of the knots were 4" wide and were ALL OVER the boards. Hardly any of them were straight, almost every one was warped. As I looked at that huge pile of boards I wondered who in the heck would buy them and wondered what they could possibly be good for... other than firewood, I mean.
 
  #17  
Old 10-14-12, 05:00 PM
BridgeMan45's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,196
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Somebody must be buying the stuff--last month's Forbes listing of richest Americans shows founder and CEO John Menard, Jr. as the richest person in Wisconsin, worth $6 billion.

Must be a lot of folks buying junk lumber, eh?
 
  #18  
Old 10-14-12, 05:11 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,967
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
I buy a lot of lumber, etc. I do not, without a doubt, let anyone bring me lumber that I didn't personally pick out. Makes for a longer morning, but I cull about 40% of the box store lumber, especially Premium 5/4 boards that I wouldn't put on a dog house (apologies to dogs everywhere). I went to a local lumber yard about a mile from orange and, at the customer's request was prepared to make a purchase of 2x4's. Mind you I was building a knee wall in a second floor of a commercial building, so pretty wasn't necessary. The guy uncovered a whole stack of premium obviously #1 2x4 studs that were clear from end to end. He said they were probably shipped in error and how many did I want. I told him how many do you have? I needed 20 but wound up buying 230 ( I believe there's 115 in a stack, Vic????) Two stacks anyway. Couldn't resist.
 
  #19  
Old 10-14-12, 05:13 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 23,091
Received 186 Votes on 175 Posts
Not me, Bridgeman! I went back home and bought them from my hometown lumberyard. 3x the price but at least they were nice!!! - #2&btr- That's one good thing about our local lumberyard is that they usually deliver for free and don't mind if you select your own or return rejects.

But I know down in Omaha at one of the big boy lumberyards that they will add the 15% if you want to pick and choose. That's nuts, IMO.

Nice find, Larry! I don't blame you. I do the same thing when I go to buy 1x10's, which I rip into pieces a lot, as I work on windows. Every once in a while the lumberyard will get a stack of unusually nice ones- When I come across them I'll buy a boatload of them!
 
  #20  
Old 10-14-12, 05:40 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,482
Received 25 Votes on 19 Posts
Last time I went looking for 2x6s at the big box I decided to postpone my project until I could get to the lumber yard. The big box usually just has severely twisted hemlock whereas the lumber yard has real spruce that is straight as an arrow. The small increase in cost is nothing when it comes to doing thee actual work.
 
  #21  
Old 10-14-12, 05:52 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 23,091
Received 186 Votes on 175 Posts
Speaking of 2x6, that reminds me of a time I needed some nice 2x6's and 2x8's for an interior trim project where we were creating some exposed bolted trusses and collar ties every 4 ft across this room we opened up to the attic- the finished product would get distressed and finished. Found out that one of the yards in Omaha carries "Truss grade" lumber which is code for "the secret shed where they keep the nice stuff!". Long, straight and minimal tight knots. So from now on if I want really nice stuff, I know what to ask for!
 
  #22  
Old 10-17-12, 05:58 AM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 28
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
My local lumberyard only carries poor grade 2x4s. I was at Lowe's yesterday and they had more than one grade-- the nicer ones were actually pretty good (new bundle) and probably cheaper than the lumberyard.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description: