Home Improvement
Rough sawn lumber is a popular choice for home improvement projects. Put simply, rough sawn lumber is a type of timber that has been cut to size with a good cordless circular saw and has not received any further treatment. The sides and edges of the timber are rough and unfinished. Consequently, rough sawn lumber is well suited for use as an internal frame and for beams beneath flooring or in attics.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for rough sawn lumber to ensure that you get a high-quality wood for your home improvement project. Whether this is your first time using rough sawn lumber or you just need some useful pointers, choosing the right lumber for your project can seem overwhelming. So, let us discover 3 important points to consider when buying rough sawn lumber.

Find a Reputable Wood Dealer

It might seem intuitive, but one of the first steps of a home improvement project involving wood is to track down the best place to purchase timber in your area. Not sure where to begin? Nowadays, along with word of mouth recommendations from friends and family who have carried out similar woodwork projects, you can look online. Just be sure to read plenty of reviews of a few different lumberyards in your area to ensure that you are going to get quality products and excellent service.

Moreover, knowing the origins of your Rough Sawn Lumber is vital. When shopping around, be sure to ask questions to determine where your wood has come from. You might even want to enquire about how it was treated previously. For example, there is always a possibility that the wood you are buying might have been subjected to conditions that could cause it to decay faster. Additionally, a lot of wood suppliers also now offer reclaimed wood options, ensuring that your home improvement project is as sustainable as possible.

Know Your Measurements

When shopping for rough sawn lumber, preparation is everything. Always bring a tape measure and a calculator to the lumberyard so that you can measure any boards that catch your eye and determine the cost. Wood dealers typically sell rough lumber by board feet, not by length of the wood. The formula for calculating a board foot is as follows: width in inches x length in inches x thickness in inches / 144. Correspondingly, measuring your wood properly can prevent any costly mistakes throughout the duration of your project.

Accordingly, it is also fundamental that you anticipate a loss of about 1/4 inch on the thickness of your lumber, as this amount is usually removed once the wood is prepared for construction. Rough lumber thicknesses are measured in 1/4 inch increments and the thinnest rough-cut boards, labelled 4/4, and called four quarter, are 1 inch thick. Pre-empting a slight loss of thickness ensures that the wood for your project is thick enough. Furthermore, buying slightly longer boards than you need can help you to avoid cracks. Generally, an extra foot or two per board should be adequate.

Pay Attention to Imperfections

Warps are deviations in the wood that are a common result of the drying process. Cupped boards are concave when viewed from the end, bowed boards are curved inwards when placed on their side, and crooked boards curve inwards when placed face down. That being said, all of these bends can be fixed easily during the milling and shortening processes. Nonetheless, twisted boards, when the two ends do not lie on the same pain, should be avoided as this type of board can be difficult to work with.

Aside from warps, it is important to choose boards that are similar colours. Any variation in colour can have a detrimental impact on the finish of your project and this can potentially ruin the aesthetics of your woodwork. Instead, look closely at each individual board under good lighting and compare colours to identify any differences. Quite often, the wood will have been sorted into wider ranged categories so do not be afraid to be thorough when checking the colours of each board. You might also want to ask an employee at the lumberyard for a second opinion.

Ultimately, although it can be tempting to purchase the first type of rough sawn lumber you can get your hands on, by taking your time, you can find rough sawn lumber that pulls your entire home improvement project together so that you can enjoy the results of your hard work for many more years to come. Above all, always try to choose an environmentally sustainable and high-quality lumber to ensure that your woodwork stands the test of time without damaging the planet.Are you investing in wood for a new floor? If so, you might want to take a look at this guide to minimizing water damage to wooden floors.