If you are planning on remodeling your home or doing a wood-related project, you will need lumber. Although there are two types of lumber—softwood and hardwood—hardwood is more commonly used due to its strength and durability. If you are planning on working with hardwood, you will need to purchase some from a lumber yard or home improvement store. If you have never bought wood before, use these four tips to ensure you get exactly what you want:
1. Buy By Length
You should always buy your wood by length. Patching two pieces of wood together is possible, but it probably won't look very good. Ideally, you should buy a couple inches more in length than you anticipate you'll need. This is because rough wood typically has areas that are unusable. The ends of the wood may be worn, have knots, or simply be unattractive. So always buy longer than you will need, by at least a couple of inches. This way you will have enough length for your project, even if you need to cut some of the wood away.
2. Buy More Than You Need
Similar to the tip above, make sure you buy more wood than you will need. If you buy the exact amount you'll need, you may wind up with not enough. Additionally, extra wood will help in the event of mistakes. So always buy more than you need—even if it seems pointless. There are no fast rules, but try to buy at least an extra piece or two. That way you can replace any wood that ends up in the trash or wood pile.
3. Don't Discount Warped Lumber
In an ideal world, you will always purchase flat wood. However, flat wood isn't always available. Plus, even if it is, it might be at a higher price than you want to pay. Warped lumber might seem unusable, but it isn't. With a little sanding and cutting, it can be just as beautiful as the premium flat wood. So don't discount it just because it is classified as "defective."
4. Color Matters
Finally, the color of wood you choose matters. You might think it is okay to purchase pieces of wood with different colors, but it isn't. Different wood colors will result in an odd and sometimes tacky-looking finished piece. Even if you plan to stain the wood, always make sure the wood is the same color. The except to this rule is if you'll be painting the wood so it will be entirely covered.
Purchasing lumber might seem intimidating or confusing, but it doesn't have to be. With these four tips, you have the knowledge you need to purchase good lumber—at a good price—for your projects. For more information, contact a local wood supplier like Salem Hardwood.