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Old 08-01-2012, 08:02 AM   #1
ksj9393
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Default To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

Joined just over a year ago in anticipation of this week. Finally broke ground on my 66' x 30' garage and workshop. (Will post pictures, and design drawing soon).

I have a conundrum, though. Is it truly worthwhile to perhaps spend a little extra to use the local lumber supply yard for materials?

I would really like to keep my business local (I live in a small town in MN), but is it worth $4-$5K MORE for "personalized" service? Convenience? Do they really give a higher grade product? Accept rejected material without question?

I got bids from 2 lumber supply yards - one in town, one larger yard from a nearby 'city' - and one of the big box store in the 'city'. I sent them each a subset of items from my overall list, explaining that this is just the garage... house to come in a year, and I asked for best prices with delivery. Twenty various items from a total materials list of 230 items, which included most of the "big ticket" items like doors and roofing. Price variation was, to say the least, shocking. Lumber yards came in at 15% and 21% MORE than big box. Which now leaves me wondering....

Who supplied your materials for your garage project? What is it worth to keep the money local? And do you really get "intangibles" from the local guy that are hard to put a price on? Like what?

I'm really torn over this seemingly trivial decision...
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:12 AM   #2
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

Quite honestly, go with the box store if you are buying bulk as either one will be just kicking off the truck the same skid of lumber. Your local guy is not going to be checking every board and doing anything special to make up the $4K-$5K difference.

While not on the scale of your large project, I did build a 12'x16' shed and any issue I had with the lumber I bought at HD, they let me swap out for better pieces.

I am all for supporting the local guys but I am not a Rockefeller and at some point, the money in my pocket saved is still money saved and good fiscal sense.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

What small town? From MN too. I don't know have you talked to them about a volume discount. Sometimes you would be suprised what they can do if you ask.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

In '99, I built a 28x28 garage from Menard's package. They dropped it off in one large package, and the only thing I had that was bad was one of the 2x4's in a truss broke, and they gave me the stuff to replace/repair it. Everything else was fine.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

I have had good luck with small lumber yards matching box store or in some cases even beating them. I would talk to the manager and bring a quote from box store, and tell him I really like supportign local business but I work for a living too. Are you able to match prices so I can support your business? Tell him if not that you understand, sometimes small business doesn't get things at a low enough price because of volume and there is nothing they can do about that.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

Pretty much what Mayday mentioned. If you want to support local businesses give them the chance to match the offer, but in the end it's your money.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

tell lumber yard to match big box store and you'll buy from them
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:29 AM   #8
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

Just had my 32x56x13' shop erected, with an 8/12 attic truss roof, by the local, independent lumber yard and labor by their crew. Could not be happier. When the local truss mfg. delivered the trusses on a 40' tractor trailer the driver would not go down my rather steep with a severe hump in it.....he was afraid of the trailer bottoming out and rightfully so. The owner of the lumber yard, had the trusses diverted to his business, off loaded and then reloaded to his shorter wheel based delivery truck and then brought back out to my house. Had the truss mfg. Just put them in my front yard 300' from the build site, I have no idea what I would have done. The quality of the lumber was top of the line....not a bowed, large knotted, split board in the entire lot. Had an issue with the framing of the rough opening for the garage doors, confronted the crew leader and the owner of the yard and was told 'no problem...what ever it takes to make you happy'. They will come backhand totally rebate the doors and correct the opening. But that is a lot of $ you are talking. My local guy was very much in line with the big box guys. I'm real happy that I went with them.

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Old 08-01-2012, 08:32 AM   #9
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

If you present your case to the local yard, typically they will do what they can to get get close to the big box bid price. Usually there IS a difference here both in material quality and service, though it may not be apparent in your particular case.

To answer your question more directly, It doesn't sound like you tried to build any kind of business relationship here, that may be the missing ingredient in your deal. Local lumber yards REALLY struggle to service homeowners to a level of satisfaction that they do builders or commercial accounts. They usually don't have the capacity to deal with both on that level so they are forced to choose a customer. A great example of this is delivery schedules around holidays, returns on special orders, etc.. A single bid request for 'best price', while certainly reasonable, may not send the right message. A sit down is in order here.

I was a builder for several years and now am in procurement (including bld materials)...and I'm SE of the Twin Cities.

Just trying to help

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Old 08-01-2012, 08:34 AM   #10
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

I use a local lumber yard. I find that the lumber is equal or better than the big box. Also if you get quotes from the big box stores and go to the local yard they may match or come pretty close.

I too like to support the little guy.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:40 AM   #11
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

I've dealt with both stores in the past and I truly believe there is a difference in the lumber quality. Have you ever seen the pile of lumber at H.D. or Menards??? I wouldn't use 80% of those 2x4's.

My shop's addition was done with local lumber yard materials (16' 2x6's) and the builder couldn't believe how straight the boards were. Sure, a truss is probably a truss, insulation is insulation, etc. but give the local guy a chance to match or get close to the big store. Returns or additional material is so much easier to deal with when the store is within a couple miles v/s an hour away.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:43 AM   #12
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

House, barn, and a whole lot more from local team. Service, delivery, follow up, and truly human folks to deal with will have me drive 1/2 hour more to the Lumber yard vs Box. As mentioned they will match on the big orders or at least come close. One thing that they can do is custom cut lumber. 8' walls are a sill plate, studs, and 2 top plates total dimension is 8'. Box store you are cutting off 4.5 inches off of all those 96" studs. Lumber yard they give you them cut to size 91.5" (mine Did) and I got a cost break. plus a lot of labor savings. Just remember they are already cut..
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:49 AM   #13
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

Just finishing the interior of my garage. Local lumberyard for ALL lumber and a locally owned hardware store for screws,nails and paint. Lumber delivered to my sight and no problem with any of the lumber. I like supporting locally owned and operated businesses.
Here not anymore $$.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:57 AM   #14
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

I too live in a small town and three local yards generally beat HD on a regular basis. I opened a line of credit years ago with a local yard and get a discount even on small purchases. And, I pay the bill the day it comes in. Keep the money local instead of sending it to Atlanta.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:02 AM   #15
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksj9393 View Post
Lumber yards came in at 15% and 21% MORE than big box. Which now leaves me wondering....
That's their retail. They don't want to deal with one-time customers, which is why they usually offer contractors 15-20% discounts (and better delivery options and service than a box store can offer).

For you, it's probably not worth going to a lumber yard. For a contractor, the price will usually be the same, and the service makes it worthwhile.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:04 AM   #16
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

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Originally Posted by denis4x4 View Post
I too live in a small town and three local yards generally beat HD on a regular basis. I opened a line of credit years ago with a local yard and get a discount even on small purchases. And, I pay the bill the day it comes in. Keep the money local instead of sending it to Atlanta.
That's what I did for many years, before the box stores forced my place out of business. I actually just paid up front in cash at the counter though, but to my account.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:34 AM   #17
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

As has been said, there's room in their retail price to work with.

I used a local yard and ran everything through an account that a friend of mine had there. He sent me the bill they sent to him and I paid it. Prices and more importantly, the materials were better than either of the local big box stores.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:35 AM   #18
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

Don't know where you're located but Siwek Lumber 952-492-6666 (Jordan, MN) has taken good care of me.

Half the time when you call Dave Siwek answers the phone. They supplied the material and crew that put up my shed. Phenomenal work, material & price. Can't say enough.

He has a customer for life.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:36 AM   #19
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

Thanks for all the feedback. Because the framer is scheduled to be on-site in 3 weeks, am meeting with the local guys this afternoon, quotes in hand. They're really nice guys, and I know most of them well from the community. In fact, I am currently living in the house the salesman built for himself 25 years ago!

So, I'm hoping that we can come close to BB prices because I really do want to stay local. Here's something interesting, though. Spoke with the framer today who's been in business for 25 years here, and he said it is worth about 5% more to shop local, just for the option of returning/exchanging with minimal hassle. Indicated 5% of your wood is gonna be subpar - local guys will take it back and credit you, HD says, "it's yours". Thus, it balances out. Said it also would be worth a premium to have local lumber yard estimate materials. But, I already have my list (and checked it twice).

Right now, as an example, local lumber yard in 10-12% higher on sticks, and 30% higher on XPS insulation. Depending upon how much they budge, I'm probably gonna split the order, and remind them that I have a house going up next summer. Think I'll get everything the framer needs locally if within 5%, but order what they cannot from Big Box store.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:47 AM   #20
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

I vote lumber yard best thing I did. Better material than menards anyway.. better service and They even lifted shingles on the roof for not much more if any
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:29 AM   #21
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Default

I ordered Hardi Plank siding and cedar trim for my barn from the local guy. Cheaper than anyone in town, delivery was palletized and bundled. Best 50 bucks I spent. I did buy PT, roofing etc at bb store b/c they are one mile from the house. Both of them. The "local" yard is about 40 minutes away. I like dealing with the local guys but a weekend warrior who may misjudge and need an extra sheet of this or that becomes a pain. lowes or HD get my vote, ESP when I can run out at lunch and get something I need for the evening work session. I like cut 2x4's though ...
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:00 AM   #22
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

Quote:
Originally Posted by nbka1bm View Post
I use a local lumber yard. I find that the lumber is equal or better than the big box. Also if you get quotes from the big box stores and go to the local yard they may match or come pretty close.

I too like to support the little guy.
Glad to see so much support for the local guys here. Can't hurt to ask what they can do on price. As far as the big box stores go, I have had mixed results. If it's reasonable to do so I like to pick my own lumber but usually it is not and periodically I would swear they went out of their way to send me everything their regular in-store customers rejected. Also, no matter who you order from, be sure to check your order. Twice I have ordered exterior plywood from the big box and received interior. Half their guys don't know the difference. The first time I didn't notice until after a year or so.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:00 AM   #23
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

Have you considered sourcing locally but not all from the lumberyard? I have not had good luck at HD so I really don't go there much. I use Lowe's lumber when I've got a quick project to make. It's fine for a fence repair. In my area the local guy has much better quality and delivers. The truss company did the calcs, provided the stamp and rooftop delivered for free. I used a separate local insulation company. They did the job with R-38 and sealed between studs and the sill cheaper than I could have bought R-30 from Lowe's. I did not use to lumberyard for doors. I used another local door company. There was no problem getting whatever width, thickness or configuation I wanted and they delivered (a single door at that!) for free.

Also, consider the hidden costs. If you are going to be hanging cabinets on the interior or want a nice flat drywall surface, there's more work with twisted wood. Plus, you'll have the back and forth from the big box to replace twisted, split and wet wood.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:34 AM   #24
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

Ask for a quote on the complete package, not just a few select items. I bet you'll get a much better price if you let them quote on everything from the concrete to the shingles.

The problem with box stores is that they get thier suppliers to "walmart" items for them to get the price down...even though they may be quoting on the same brands, there will often be a difference in quality.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:52 AM   #25
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

I shop around and spread the flow of money. Menard's stock the color and type of siding I wanted, so they get that portion. Most of the stick lumber comes from HD, along with boxes of nails/screws/tapcons. All the roof materials came from the local Carter Lumber.

Even when you want to stay local, sometimes it's not possible. If you need something on a Sunday afternoon to keep the project on schedule, a big box store is about the only place open.

Worst thing is, right now, I need to buy a 6' fiberglass step ladder and nobody has them on sale.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:18 PM   #26
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

I bid out local, HD, Lowes and McCoys. Local was more $ big time, Lowes never responded, McCoys beat HD in a few places. McCoys has great yard help here and will load you up quick and easy. So I bought most of the material at McCoys. After I covered all that, it was either them or HD. As an example - after I used up my McCoys quote, HD was then $2 cheaper retail on OSB. The OSB is the exact same brand at both stores. For my air piping, McCoys is a little cheaper on black iron fittings. But closed on Sundays. To HDs credit here, they have decent loaders too, if they are not socked in busy. I've had a tiny checkout girl help me load OSB when she couldn't raise a loader from the back of the store.

Also FWIW - I found VERY LITTLE difference between retail and a $5000 lumber quote.
The guy doing the quoting at HD is a retired custom builder and told me to expect very little in pricing discounts because there just wasn't much wiggle room in lumber any more. A full blown contracter account would save more in the long run over many $$$$ and months worth of purchases, but for the small one shot guy - fergetaboutit. I saved maybe $200 quoting vs just showing up with the truck and trailer.

Yes you'd like to support local, but it's still your money and it's up to you how you need to stretch it.

Quote:
Plus, you'll have the back and forth from the big box to replace twisted, split and wet wood.
Dude, it is ALL like this, I don't care where you get it. My lesson from the build is that you best buy it and use it quick because if it sits around it'll go pretzel on you. I watched 12 or so out of 50 2x6x14 #2 select SPF pine rafters go from straight to twisty-exchange-for-credit in 2 weeks, before I could get them all up and nailed in. Every day I'd be culling another one out, or cutting a screwed one to use as a brace for one not so bad.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:28 PM   #27
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

I would say support the local lumberyards.
My current house (built in 2005) used supplies from 5 different lumberyards.
Three of them are now closed.
I like the diversity of the lumberyards and the personal touch.
They are truly a dying breed.

As a side note, did you read the story about the oldest general store in America closing recently?

"224-year-old general store shuts down in Rhode Island"
http://gantdaily.com/2012/07/31/224-...-rhode-island/
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Old 08-01-2012, 04:46 PM   #28
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

Well, just finished meeting with sales at the local yard, and no budging on prices. It's hard to pony up $1300 more for foil-faced iso just to stay local ($53.50 a sheet vs. $33.99 at the Big "M") so some stuff I'm simply compelled to patronize the big box stores. And he understood that.

But even lumber I was a little surprised at the lack of movement. 2x6" - 12' are $6.15 at the local yard, but I can get them for $5.10 at the Big "M". However, in the end I decided that the $400 difference for framing lumber was worth giving to the local yard just for the convenience of on-time delivery and hassle free exchanges of bad boards.

Will also stay local for siding and shingles as cost differential was nominal - again, hassle factor if a bad bundle is encountered is worth a few bucks, no?
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Old 08-01-2012, 04:54 PM   #29
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

For lumber usually the big stores (i.e. Home Depot) have the best prices, though particular things do fluctuate drastically like plywood and sheetrock.

Electrical and plumbing usually the local wholesalers have better prices and / or better quality. The faucet you buy at Home Depot is NOT the same you buy at some of the wholesalers. While the wholesaler might be more when you compare them side-by side you notice how they weigh more because parts are metal and not plastic, also the better ones are made in the USA instead of overseas. So it's not just who is cheapest but you need to do an apples to apples comparison.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:09 PM   #30
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

I buy small stuff at Lowe's. I also like Lowe's "Choice" lumber for most of the projects that I do. However, I have an account with a well respected local lumber yard that I established 11 years ago when we built our house. Their prices are competitive and they can get anything I want brand specific. When I need 16" material they deliver and and I can order over the phone. My last major project was the construction of a 16' x 24' garden/storage/tool shed. I used a wood frame with a metal exterior. They beat Lowe's on the lumber package and the dedicated metal suppliers on on the skin package by a wide margin. Tell your lumber yard you will deal with them if they will give you the contractor's price.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:21 PM   #31
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

Something to know about the box stores that deliver your load of lumber. Its the bottom of the bin lumber that everyone has already picked every good board out of, then it get bundle up and sent to a job site. I worked as a load builder for a big box for 6 months.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:37 PM   #32
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksj9393 View Post
Thanks for all the feedback. Because the framer is scheduled to be on-site in 3 weeks, am meeting with the local guys this afternoon, quotes in hand. They're really nice guys, and I know most of them well from the community. In fact, I am currently living in the house the salesman built for himself 25 years ago!

So, I'm hoping that we can come close to BB prices because I really do want to stay local. Here's something interesting, though. Spoke with the framer today who's been in business for 25 years here, and he said it is worth about 5% more to shop local, just for the option of returning/exchanging with minimal hassle. Indicated 5% of your wood is gonna be subpar - local guys will take it back and credit you, HD says, "it's yours". Thus, it balances out. Said it also would be worth a premium to have local lumber yard estimate materials. But, I already have my list (and checked it twice).

Right now, as an example, local lumber yard in 10-12% higher on sticks, and 30% higher on XPS insulation. Depending upon how much they budge, I'm probably gonna split the order, and remind them that I have a house going up next summer. Think I'll get everything the framer needs locally if within 5%, but order what they cannot from Big Box store.
My lumber yard beats HD prices on lumber. And kills HD prices on screws, nails, etc. HD draws you in on pricing and rapes people on the accessory stuff.

An insulation contractor beats lumber and HD/Lowes pricing on insulation. They buy insulations by the truck load, atleast my guy does. I told my lumber yard guy the insulation price and he could not believe it.

Sometimes you might have to pay out alittle bit to make it easier on yourself.

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Old 08-01-2012, 09:42 PM   #33
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

That's one thing about the local McCoys - they don't do that. Those guys will cull and even cull while helping you load.
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:29 PM   #34
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

My experience was just the opposite, the lumber yard was cheaper on LUMBER, but a little higher on the other stuff.
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:07 AM   #35
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

I try and support the local guys when I can, comes from growing up in a small town and my father owned a hardware store. But when it comes to a bigger order and bulk its hard to pay the extra price. I did buy the the lumber for a 10x12 shed from the local lumberyard.
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:09 AM   #36
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

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Right now, as an example, local lumber yard in 10-12% higher on sticks, and 30% higher on XPS insulation. Depending upon how much they budge, I'm probably gonna split the order, and remind them that I have a house going up next summer. Think I'll get everything the framer needs locally if within 5%, but order what they cannot from Big Box store.
Having come from a family that owned lumberyards, I wouldn't go in and beat them up on individual prices, talk about the cost of the whole package. It might also help you to ask if there are certain items that you should take out of the package and purchase from the box store while getting the rest from the local place. This could really affect the price because the local guy can usually handily beat the box pricing on most stuff, but the box stores have certain items that they sell for less than the local guy can purchase them for.

We would actually tell people this, it saves them money and helped us get the sale. The big box stores make a 30-40% margin on their overall sales while still having killer prices on some items. That should tell you what their markup is on some of the other things they sell is.
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:49 AM   #37
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

I'm all for supporting the locals when I can. Ask the local yard if they will match prices or at least come in a little closer in price. Explain to them that if they come through that you'll be building your house next year and if prices are good, they will get your business.

The reason I like the local yard is that for one, they carry better lumber than the big box stores. They are also local, so if I need something it is only a few minutes drive for me or if I need it delivered, I don't have a $75 delivery charge that the box stores have. And if I need something, I can get on the phone, make a call, and within an hour it arrives. Most local yards have rooftop delivery for shingles. They may not unload them but they will shoot them to the roof for you. I have yet to buy lumber from the box stores that if you don't use it right away, it will remain straight. With our local yard, the quality of lumber is way better than the others.

So in making a decision between a box store and a local yard, how much is your time worth? I find that by the time I run to another town, sort lumber for pieces good enough to use, load, unload, return the shitty stuff that is now warped or wrong from what they delivered, the little extra you pay for local is well worth it.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:41 AM   #38
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

i use the local lumberyard up here , better price ,quility and service, plus its cut in the area
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:20 AM   #39
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

Our " Local Mom & Pop " Lumber Yard has far better quality lumber and lengths that HD or Lowes carry's. They are a bit more pricey, but if you want higher quality lumber and service that is much more personal, the Mom & Pop place is where I go.

Unfortunetly, they are about 15 miles awat and HD is about 3-4, so if all I need is a couple of pieces, then HD is where I go to pick and chose the boards I want.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:38 AM   #40
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

Full package price for my shop, local beat HD.

I continue to buy from them to this day and rarely shop around.
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:57 PM   #41
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

I don't know anything about the local yard because they are open to serve the public from 8-5, M-F, closed at noon. When I called them and found this out, I said business must be pretty good. They said it was.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:47 PM   #42
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

I would try talking to the local guys, I know our little shop here is more expensive, until it goes on the account, then they blow big orange away, deliver free and no hassles with returns, they also get imho better lumber products, and best of all, alot of there stuff comes from the local mill, not trucked from god knows where, so I get to support the local ma and pa shop, support the mill and its workers and families , and can usually find anything I need for basic equipment, and will order most odd ball stuff for me and get it here ASAP. ( think low voltage switches ) but contactors and stuff on the shelf, gota love living in paradise and wine / vinyard country.
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:28 PM   #43
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I went with the big box store, much less expensive, got a huge discount for spending over $5k, returns were no problem, also got 0% financing for 12 months. It was really no comparison to the local yard. No complaints on the quality either.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:30 PM   #44
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

Around here, and I assume most areas that are somewhere between rural and populous, the lumber industry is driven by forest clearing rather than any company going out and saying 'we need local trees cut down to make lumber'. That said, there's plenty of local wood where I am and if the price isn't better, I will go where it's more convenient to load it. Right now that's probably Lowe's, though HD is only a short trip further down the same road, while the lumber yard is across town.

I only have a standard bed truck, and have to drive through city no matter which choice I make so others may have easier decisions to make. If it's all one load and being delivered to you, support local folks all you like, though if it's like this area, the mill is not ma & pa anymore. At least one lumber yard still is.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:15 PM   #45
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

Home Depot and Lowes both charge $75.00 to deliver. Since I am doing most of my own work building my house, I did not want everything delivered at once. Delivery fees would have killed any price discount they could have offered.

I went to a local yard and told him i was building a house, he gave me quotes on stock lumber and almost everything was cheaper than the box stores. Insulation was a lot more but that was not their specialty. Free delivery, no matter what I was ordering. I walk in and ask a question and I get a professional educated answer or suggestion.

I call in what I need for the upcoming weekend and the next day it is sitting in front of my building. The only negative is that they are closed on the weekends but for price,service and delivery charges, they could not be beat. Most of their larger lumber is #1 and any bad boards I come across are picked up and credited. I leave them in front my building and when they deliver a load, they pickup the bad stuff.

I like the box stores for hardware and such because of the huge variety. I never see the same person working at the box stores. The guys at Rader's Lumber Yard are almost like family now. And their coffee is better.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:36 AM   #46
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

I'm going against what others have said.

I live in the country. The big box stores are 30 miles from me. We have a Amish run lumberyard and hardware store about 4 miles up the road from me. Their prices destroy the big box stores! Way better than Menards, Loews, or Home Depot. I buy my 4-1/2" cut off wheels for $1.60 ea there. Plus they will deliver a whole flatbed worth of lumber to my property for only $35. Can't beat it.

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Old 08-03-2012, 09:40 PM   #47
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

I found HD cheaper than the lumber yard, better hours & open 7 days. I can use the Lowes 10% off coupon & get 24 month financing. I am supporting the locals with HD headquarters 10 miles away
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:45 PM   #48
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

Lumber yard was 15% cheaper on lumber- except plywood. HD was cheaper on that.
I needed 28 ft 2x12's, in stock at lumber yard- special order from HD.
Even so- I wound up paying a buck more a sheet & had the whole load dropped at once. I'm a contractor & they give me contractor pricing. I have an open account there.
Quality of the lumber yard wood was better- at least on my drop.
HD charges to deliver- I had no delivery fee.
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:27 AM   #49
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

My money is going to the local lumber yards for mterials like that now...

I have bought my last "propeller" from Menards and Home Depot.. Even their "select" lumber warps like an SOB within 24 hours of being cut from the bundles...

Give the lumber yard a chance to bid and remember that they have families to feed too...
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:06 AM   #50
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

My materials came from six places when I built my 28X56 garage... I was in one local yard three times requesting a price on truss rafters.... never got a price...... I had Big Box deliver the rafters....Local yard pizzed me off and I only bought a few odds and ends from them after that..

There is an "area lumber yard" about thirtyfive miles distance that delivered good, straight dimentional lumber for less than the big box guys charge for their carry-out junk.. This lumber yard has my deepest respect; and a good share of my lumber business.
Some sad notes about the big box guys; They know how to wreck goods with a fork lift!!... beware that there is a time limit of 72 hours to report any damage on received goods..

I shopped around for materials and did my own construction. I am a fussy old guy who likes to do things properly the first time... Well, this includes the purchase and transport of materials....

The "Area lumber yard" has earned my trust hands down.. This spring, I ordered fourteen 2"X12"X18' to build a hoist... They delivered the quality lumber that I requested. Again, For less than big box was anvertising for....

We have a "live and learn" world... We all make blunders and better choices;

If you are going to "place all the eggs in one basket" and use only one supplier for the entire building; make dern sure to do your homework... Myself, I choose the materials and price all my orders. More time spent doing this; but the savings do add up.

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Old 08-04-2012, 10:23 AM   #51
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

I usually split my orders up. Sticks come from the local lumberyard as the quality is higher and I can make sure that I can set aside and swap any problem pieces easily and quickly.

Items that have a higher markup (and are less prone to defects) like shingles, doors, windows, plywood, insulation etc come from the big box. Sometimes the plywood will come from the local as well as some big box ply is pretty nasty.

Any piece here, piece there that I find I need midproject comes from the local yard. No sense in my mind spending 90 minutes and 10 bucks in gas to save $15 in material cost.
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Old 08-04-2012, 11:00 AM   #52
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

I agree with most posters that the local yard is the place to go for better lumber. And that shingles are shingles.

However, if the local guy can't be friendly and helpful, I prefer the anonymity of going to the big box and getting on with it. Too many small businesses come with attitude and I'm not prone to accept that if the prices are close. The big box makes it easy. Order online and pay. Wait for delivery.

We have a semi big box near here called HD Supply and they have everything including a drive through-load it up lumber section. You pick the lumber and the prices are good.
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Old 08-04-2012, 03:41 PM   #53
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

I was just at the local lumberyard today. Great personal service and great products. During loading I only had to reject one board. At the big box all the 2x4s look like shit. Local yard 2x4s are generally top notch. I vote local yard.
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:43 PM   #54
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

I always support the big box stores. They hire students who need summer jobs etc. I even worked at one partime to pay for projects I had going on. The local mom & pop stores aren't hiring anybody except their relation or close friends.
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:34 PM   #55
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Default Re: To use the local lumber yard, or the big box store...

For what it's worth, when I built my deck, I spent hours digging through the stacks of lumber to find boards that were at least reasonably straight without tons of knots.
This was both at Home Depot, and Lowes.

I hope the local lumberyard would be better.
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