There is an old adage when it comes to purchasing lumber for home remodeling that is still relevant today. It goes like this; “Never buy a better grade of lumber than the job requires”. Basically, it means that as closely as possible, know how much lumber will be needed before heading out to the local lumberyard or home center. Lumber prices are high today and being prepared can save you money that will surely be better spent on other aspects of your home remodeling project.
Most of the lumber purchased by homeowners for their home remodeling projects is of the softwood type such as, fir, pine, spruce, and the like. Hardwood lumber like cherry, oak, and ash is usually used only in flooring. Invariably, these hardwoods are far more costly, but their beauty and durability lend great character to the atmosphere and ambiance of the home.
Softwood lumber that is to be used for framing in home remodeling projects, should be carefully selected. For example, select structural is virtually knot-free and as such, it is intended for exposed areas. Construction grade, usually has more knots, but still could be used in locations of visibility. Standard grade, would be the choice for joists, rafters, and planks, and economy grade, which is the lowest grade of lumber, should not be used for framing, but it can be used when cut to shorter lengths for window headers, doorway headers, and such.
It may be clear then, that the grade of lumber is determined by the number and importance of blemishes, defects, and other cosmetic imperfections or faults found in the wood. Keep these tips in mind when making your home remodeling lumber decisions and let the yardman or sales representative know that you are aware of this. Look over the lumber carefully and choose only those lengths and widths that will best fit your home remodeling needs and requirements. Remember this however, that you can cut out any rough looking areas if you feel the lumber would otherwise fill a need. Avoid purchasing any lumber you may come across that is green in its appearance, or feels wet.
Ordering lumber over the telephone for your home remodeling project is not always a good idea. In this case, you will have to accept pretty much whatever the lumberyard or home center staff pick out to fill your order. Take the time to visit yourself, armed with some of the aforementioned tips, and you will be well on your way to the successful start of your home remodeling project.
Remember, always work safely.