Finding Affordable Lumber

How & Where to Find Affordable Lumber for Your Next Project

Affordable lumber is difficult to come by these days. The breakdown of the supply chain, lack of workers, the pandemic and just pure bad timing created the “perfect storm” that impacted supply and demand for lumber. Of course, as anyone with a basic understanding of how the economy works knows, when the supply is low and the demand high prices go up. In this case, that means affordable lumber is hard to find.

What’s Behind the Lumber Shortage

The impact of Covid-19 on the lumber industry, as in other businesses, caused mills and lumber yards to close down for months. Added to the pandemic, the mountain pine beetle population virtually exploded and destroyed enough lumber to build roughly nine million homes. The destruction of forests from the western US wildfires only added to the shortage. All this while the housing industry saw a surge in new home buyers and struggled to keep up with construction.

Fortunately things began to calm down and the price wholesale lumber began falling in May and has continued to approach the range of affordable lumber. Unfortunately the leveling off of prices for wood hasn’t yet hit the retail market. As Covid-19 remains as unpredictable as ever there’s no assurance the market will trend toward affordable lumber.

Finding Affordable Lumber is Possible

So what can the retail customer do to locate affordable lumber, and where can the home/DIY builder, fix-it person and remodeler find the lumber they need for their next project without leveraging the farm? Of course your best source for affordable lumber is the Quad Cities’ own Seiffert Building Supplies, but we also offer suggestions to help you find affordable lumber for your next project.

Tips for How and Where to Find Affordable Lumber

Finding affordable lumber is a challenge but it can be done. By thinking creatively and using our tips there are ways to find the lumber you need at prices that don’t break the bank. Here are our tips.

Shop Selectively

Small lumber yards and neighborhood hardware stores are great when you need specific tools or parts to fix your toilet, but they don’t necessarily have the square footage to keep a good supply of lumber on hand. This can have an impact on both pricing and availability versus your larger lumberyards and building supply options. 

Convenience does not always go hand-in-hand with affordable prices. Look for a supplier that keeps a large inventory of lumber and sells to contractors as well as homeowners. They’ll have many options and better prices for affordable lumber.

Make Friends with The Employees

Independent lumber suppliers are, as a rule, more service-oriented and knowledgeable than big box or hardware stores. Typically these professionals are the go-to for builders and contractors who pick up large orders and supplies. They understand what you need and they know the right wood for the job. Explain your intentions to the project managers and they will guide you to the most affordable lumber options to make sure you get the job done right-and within budget. An added advantage? You might come away with some tips and advice to ensure your project success.

Be Strategic About The Materials You Need

What is the goal of your project? Are you a woodworker creating a table or chest? Then you’ll need high quality wood to ensure an heirloom quality product. You certainly don’t want to skimp.

But, for other projects take the time to think through the end purpose and select the materials that get the job done without blowing through your budget. Do you need 3/4 inch plywood or can you get the same results with 1/2 inch? Can you use finger-jointed boards or do you really need solid? If you’re painting over them it probably doesn’t matter. Think it through and talk to the in store project manager if you’re not sure. Seiffert Building Supplies has in store professional support for your convenience.

Seek Out Reclaimed Wood for Affordable Lumber

Some of the most affordable lumber you’ll find is “waste lumber” or reclaimed lumber that you repurpose for your project. Your best bet is to reach out to a local builder or remodeling company. Of course there are several caveats to this method, you’ll need to take what you get and  some of the scrap wood may not be in the best shape, but in the end you may find just what you need. Of course searching for affordable lumber in scrap piles can take time so if you’re on a strict timeline you may reconsider.

Only Deal With The Best of The Best

When it comes to affordable lumber you are still making an investment. Be sure you only deal with a supplier you can trust. Seiffert Building Supplies is the Quad Cities’ preferred supplier of building materials and has been for more than a century. Our reputation for quality products is unmatched and we carry a full line of lumber, wood and wood products. Contact Seiffert Building Supplies today to find affordable lumber for your next project.