If you're starting to get into doing your own projects around the house, you may find that you're a frequent visitor to your local home supply store. It's also worthwhile to check out the nearest lumber yard — this type of store specializes in lumber, which means that you can often find types of lumber that are difficult to buy at a general home supply store. Additionally, lumber yard staff tend to be highly knowledgeable, which means that you can discuss your project with someone and get some useful recommendations about what lumber to buy. Here are some tips to remember for the first-time lumber yard visitor.
Lumber Is Smaller Than It's Labeled
One important thing about lumber that novices need to know is that the measurements you see on a given piece of lumber are typically slightly exaggerated. A common piece of lumber is a two-by-four, which gets its name from its measurement of two inches by four inches. In reality, however, this lumber is actually a little smaller than two by four inches. Generally, you can expect it to be about 1.5 inch`es by 3.5 inches. It's important to be aware of this detail so that you don't mistakenly buy less lumber than you actually need for your home project.
There Are Different Grades Of Lumber
When you tour the lumber yard to note the prices, it's important to note that there are often several different grades of lumber. For example, a two-by-four piece of pine may be sold in two or three grades. Depending on the store's terminology, these grades could be called things such as "rough," "select," and "premium." Rougher lumber is generally less pricey, but its rough finish doesn't make it ideal for all projects. You can get away with rough-graded lumber if the lumber will be hidden, but if it's visible in your project, select or premium will give you a better look.
You Should Thoroughly Inspect Each Piece
Even if you're buying a dozen pieces of lumber, you should always take the time to visually inspect each piece before it's loaded into your vehicle by the lumber yard attendant. You want to check for things such as warping and twisting, which you can do by holding the board up and looking down the length of it. You also want to assess how knotty it is; knots can create some nice visual interest, but you might not always want them for your project.