We get why pricing for lumber has a negative reputation. No, we really do. Everyone dislikes feeling as though they are paying more than they should, and it is simple to get skeptical when prices aren’t clearly stated or displayed. Well, despite our best efforts, we are unable to offer a straightforward price structure. We can, however, give you a rough idea of how complicated lumber pricing is by outlining the factors that affect it.
You should start reading these first four posts, and then come back and read this fifth and last one.
Shipping Costs & Lumber Pricing
This is undoubtedly one of the elements that can vary greatly from dealer to dealer. As you compare prices from different vendors, be careful to ensure that all of them have included shipping in their prices. We can more easily control shipping costs because we have our own fleet of trucks, but we can’t entirely separate a shipping charge from the price of the lumber. Rather, it is included in our overhead expenses. Although shipping costs won’t always be able to be listed in a nice and tidy manner, they will undoubtedly be included in the price of lumber.
When a lumber supplier employs a common carrier for delivery, it may have an impact on both pricing and the condition of your lumber when it gets to your construction site. The degree of service you receive and the additional effort and expense you might incur to deliver the order all the way to your job site can also vary depending on this. If you need to employ a customized truck because your location can’t be reached by a tractor trailer, the cost for that customized truck also needs to be taken into account. Unloading and reloading expenses by forklift or similar vehicle should also be budgeted for if transporting the lumber to a second vehicle is necessary.
Order Size & Lumber Pricing
Larger purchases are typically associated with cheaper per-board-foot prices, but the exact line between retail and wholesale prices can vary. Why does processing a larger order cost less? In reality, pulling 50 board feet of material requires the same amount of labor as pulling 500 board feet. But if larger packs need to be broken in order to select from them pieces meeting particular specifications, the smaller order can require much more work. Sometimes moving numerous complete packs in a warehouse in order to access one partial pack results in a smaller order actually requiring more labor. The inferior quality that was left behind in the partial pack provides another justification for the higher price. Given that the paperwork is roughly the same, the cost will usually be higher per board foot for the smaller order since all of the associated maintenance costs will be distributed over fewer board feet.