Lumber from home depot OK for some things?

Page 1 of 2  
Hi,
I'm not an expert carpenter by any means, but sometimes it seems to me that lumber one finds at home depot is to bowed and twisty for most things such as building a wall. Yesterday I went to hd to by some 2x10's to replace a few joists in kitchen floor and once again, the lumber is a little bowed a litte twisted a little chipped and a little banged. But for joists (with plywood and hardwood to go on top), does it really matter? Should I stick with HD or go to a lumber yard and pay double or triple? How about lowe's?
Many thanks in advance,
Aaron
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Aaron Fude wrote:

Have you actually called your local lumber yards and gotten a price? In my experience, the price isn't usually much higher, and the quality is better. They deal with working carpenters, and a working carpenter doesn't have time to pick through the pile looking for stuff that MAY work. Don't expect much hand-holding from the clerk, though. If it is more than a pickup load, most real lumberyards will deliver as part of the price, though.
Big-boxes are mass-market, and are open other than 6:30 am to 4 pm M-F, so that is where DIYs go. For a while, real lumberyards were trying to soften their 'trade only' image, but since the big boxes came along, most of the ones around here don't even advertise, and are back to short hours. The more marginal ones have been driven out of business. The ones that are left don't really even want to deal with civilians- they want customers who know what they want, get in and get out, and don't come back later crying that they got the wrong thing. They are supply houses, not retail stores.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
aemeijers wrote:

And they are often cooperative on small loads if you work with them such as waiting a day or two until they are making a delivery in your area. As you said the nice part about real lumber yards is that there is no picking etc because they buy better quality wood so even if you have them deliver it sight unseen you get good stuff.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Not at my local lumberyard. They are very cooperative and will let you pick and choose but if you take it 'run of the stack' you will get bowed, cupped, waned, etc. I have seen them unband a lift of just delivered 2x4 and watched it expand by a good 10 percent. The quality may be better but if you expect perfect, flat, etc., lumber it ain't gonna happen unless you hand pick.
Harry K
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 19 Oct 2008 07:10:09 -0700 (PDT), Harry K

I like to pick the piece I want. There was a local lumber supply that would not allow customer selection--eventually it went out of business.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Harry K wrote:

I meant "no picking" in the sense that you don't have to so when you get a delivery you get good stuff. If you go into the yard yourself to pick up your order they don't care if you select the lumber but they buy good quality so there isn't any particular reason to do it since there will be minimal difference in quality.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You obviously haven't done much building. If you take 'run of the bin' out of a big box or a lumberyard you _will_ discard at least some of it. I have 'picked' a freshly opened lift and rejected 25% of the studs...of course I was building interior walls so I wanted pretty straight stuff.
Harry K
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Every so often a reply to someone's post is like why don't you go to a real xxxxx supply house where people know what they are doing.

Which is why:
    - so many people do not want to go to a lumber yard, plumbing      house, electrical supply house.
    - The Borg exists and so many people go.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Red Green wrote:

Oh, if you go into a traditional supply house with the right attitude, and at the right time of day (like not when the doors first open, and the lot is full of beat-up pickup trucks, and the line at the counter is 3 deep), you can usually find someone who will take the time to work with you. But you can't pretend to be an expert there- they will see right through you. Big advantage of a place that caters to the trade, is that they have or can quickly get the weird stuff the Borg will never carry.
I usually go to the Borg, but that is just because I would have to take time off work to go to a real place. The real places, around here, don't have late afternoon/evening/Saturday hours. The couple of times I went looking for something the Borg didn't have, they treated me well enough. But I grew up in the business, so I hopefully didn't smell like a total clueless newbie to them.
-- aem sends...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload


Yes, but you had trace Borg radiation emitting from you.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
news.ops.worldnet.att.net:

In my case, it's the hours. There's a "real plumbing store" that's open saturday mornings for a few hours, but the big plumbing wholesaler is not - so I end up relying on the Borgs for plumbing parts, for example, unless I'm able to plan ahead. The same is true for the electrical supply.
nate
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Aaron Fude wrote:

What makes you think that a local yard is double or triple? Is it the marketing or have you actually checked? In my area the local yards have much better quality lumber at lower prices than big box.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I agree, my local builders supply (Raymond) was a buck a sheet cheaper on 12mm plywood and 6-7 cents a foot cheaper on SYP 2x4s ... delivered. I phoned in my order first thing in the morning and they dropped it right after lunch. You just need an order big enough to be worth their while. With lumber, it doesn't take much to be a couple hundred bucks tho.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I probably end up in a big box store once a week. But when I need decent lumber I go to a lumber yard. Better quality- sometimes even lower prices- and knowledgeable salesfolks.
Sometimes my local borg has decent 4x4''s- I've found some decent lumber on occasion. But for more than a piece or two I go to the lumber yard.
Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 19 Oct 2008 05:37:41 -0700 (PDT), Aaron Fude

A perfect 2x10, square and flat, will warp, twist, bow, wane, cup and split with changes in humidity. I have made fine furniture from HD wood. Understanding wood movement can be critical for some applications, but should be fine for a joist. Construction adhesive and good long screws will help prevent floor squeaks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Aaron Fude wrote:

...
What you get is what's there when you happen to be by.
Despite the other stories, it's not likely there's much (if any) real difference between the comparable construction lumber at any of the yards--they're all buying graded material in bulk.
The major difference is usually that at the Borg what you see is almost always only the culls because when you get there it's already been picked over by tens if not hundreds of others ahead of you and they don't empty the bins except when they're actually empty.
Construction framers have the luxury of being able to select the pieces for where it matters to a certain extent and most also cull and simply return the truly unusable.
But, for construction, appearance isn't all that critical (once it's in the wall or floor and covered up, what's to see, anyway?) and it's "tied down" when installed. For wall studs it's nice if they're at least reasonably straight so walls aren't terribly bowed, but as others have noted, unless it is kiln dried, there's a reasonable chance it's going to warp as it dries further, anyway, even if it's straight going home.
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The real problems is the trees. In order to improve the quality, we have to let them grow another 25 to 50 years for the tight growth rings. We just have to stop using wood in the meantime.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ed Pawlowski wrote:

"Tight" growth rings have less to do w/ age, but to conditions -- closer-spaced growth rings means less annual growth which comes from poorer growing conditions, not better.
There's little actual difference structurally afaict from USFPA data on "new" vs "old" as far as measured properties. What's complained of generally is owing to using all the available tree and cutting construction lumber from marginally-sized trees to make better use of the material (as in less waste) than when a 30+ -incher was sawn up into tubafores and the rest simply left for waste.
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dpb wrote:

From what I have seen they can specify what grade they want. If you go to the local real lumber yard in my area and watch when they open a new bundle there isn't really anything to cull out. I asked about that some time ago and their buyer happened to be up by the counter and he showed me how many grades of the same lumber he could order and that it is their policy to order better grades.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I agree totally...Both HD and the yards around here BOTH buy Canandian crap...Unless you pick it YOURSELF you ALWAYS have culls. I usually cut them up for cripples or use them where it doesn't matter. I ALWAYS pick the best ones out of the pile the yard delivers to the jobsite for critical areas like window , door openings , stairs,ect,. FIRST and set them aside under a tarp or lumber cover....I've seen lumber curl and twist in just a few days stored outside in the sun so keep that in mind as well.....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.