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Big Box Lumber vs. Lumber Yard

Old 08-18-2016, 06:40 AM
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Default Big Box Lumber vs. Lumber Yard

I am getting ready to put in a fence and am wondering if there is a big difference between the big box lumber and the lumber yard. 4X4X8 are up to $2.00 more each. I checked and the big box store stuff is ground contact rated so it would appear to be the same. I am all about supporting the locals but I also don't like to spend more. I asked the locals about breaks and that is a no go. Any thoughts on the lumber quality?
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:52 AM
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curved verses straight ...
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:01 AM
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I use 84 lumber sometimes. It cost a little more but the lumber is usually straighter and you can just give them your list and they pull everything and have it waiting on a pallet for you and load it in your truck with a fork lift when you arrive. Sometimes it worth paying a little more not to have to spend a couple hours picking through lumber and loading it in a carts then the truck.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:07 AM
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most box store lumber is pretty bad
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by edwardh1 View Post
most box store lumber is pretty bad
It starts off pretty bad and the goes to shit when you take it out of the AC and put it in the sun.
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:11 AM
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Southern yellow pine is the most common treated material, as the cell structure holds the treating chemicals better. The lumber is visually graded before treatment. Each company producing finished lumber hires their own visual graders, and some are downright blind. So, even if it's graded #2, one companies #2 is another companies #3. The professional lumber yards are usually much more selective in their lumber quality, and buy from the better producers.
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Old 08-18-2016, 12:10 PM
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Generally we refer to big-box lumber as "expensive firewood". For a 4x4 or 6x6, you're probably OK with the big box as long as you can pick out straight ones that aren't too dinged up.
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Old 08-18-2016, 12:24 PM
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Local yards can buy cheap too, just like big box.

Around here there are a few yards that offer quality material at fair pricing. Of course they are going to be more than big box, because its worth it.

It all depends on what you want. Long term quality, or just get it up and worry about the rest later. Nothing wrong with either way.
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Old 08-18-2016, 12:31 PM
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I'm assuming he's going to be using them for fence section post so it won't be critical if it's not perfectly straight.
He's not building cabinets.

As mentioned, keep them out of the sun and preferably on a somewhat flat surface like a concrete floor.
If they're banded together, use them suckers as fast as you can once that band is cut.
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Old 08-18-2016, 12:48 PM
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Big box stores are more or less useless for anything nowadays, especially lumber. Find you a BDC or something similar. Lowes lumber is absolute junk.

And alot of their "SYP" and fir comes from New Zealand.

FROM NEW ZEALAND!!
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Old 08-18-2016, 01:27 PM
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I appreciate the input. I am using them as fence posts, of course I will need the rest of the lumber as well so there will be the pickets and the 2X4's as well.

I am going to drop by once and look at the lumber again and see if I can tell a difference. I will pay more if there is a difference in the quality.

It is SYP here in SC. I know the supplier for the lumberyard is canfor and am not sure for the big box stores here.
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Old 08-18-2016, 01:33 PM
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Look at the post. A lot of pulp mills will see the core as fence post. That is the weakest part. You want posts that are cut from sold sections.
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:12 PM
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with the big box stores I am tired of moving it from the pile to my cart, check out, then from my cart to my truck. then off at the house.
Local lumber yard, pay at the desk load from pile onto my truck. Handled less better selection. I've seen people pull apart a complete lift at the BBS looking for perfectly straight knot free lumber in a stud pile..WTF.
At my local lumber yard they even help me load and secure my lumber.
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:17 PM
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Lowes has the most awful umber I ever seen. Went looking 6X6 post the other day and their stuff was so split up it looked terrible. Went to a local lumber store and saved $50 and free delivery, not the first split in the wood.

I have bought a lot of lumber at lowes and regret every piece. Builders Discount if you have one can save you some money too.
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:40 PM
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not all lumber is the same, graded same or not, in little river, its worth the trip to shalotte to guy c lee, they have there own mill, lumber is far superior to blantons, which is crap..same grade, lowes and hd will sell prime for more money, but there stock is young growth syp, find a good lumber yard, pick your own..get your moneys worth.
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:42 PM
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Big Box may not have the highest quality but it will be the most consistent. Lumber yards will vary from Builders Discount which is cheap, cheap wood to high end materials.
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Old 08-18-2016, 03:00 PM
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Most every local lumber yard around here will price match any of the Big Box stores.
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Old 08-18-2016, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by cappy tan View Post
not all lumber is the same, graded same or not, in little river, its worth the trip to shalotte to guy c lee, they have there own mill, lumber is far superior to blantons, which is crap..same grade, lowes and hd will sell prime for more money, but there stock is young growth syp, find a good lumber yard, pick your own..get your moneys worth.
I was about to post this. Guy C. Lee is great followed by Garris Evans for me.
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Old 08-18-2016, 03:47 PM
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Use Galvanized round post and these brackets, will last longer than treated 4x4's

John
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Old 08-18-2016, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by islandman2016 View Post
Lowes has the most awful umber I ever seen. Went looking 6X6 post the other day and their stuff was so split up it looked terrible. Went to a local lumber store and saved $50 and free delivery, not the first split in the wood.

I have bought a lot of lumber at lowes and regret every piece. Builders Discount if you have one can save you some money too.
Lowes mailbox posts even the more expensive cedar posts are terrible. $30 or so, Id pay more for better wood. and Lowes will not restock til they are all gone so that means somebody buys the poop
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