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Do You Want to Buy Hardwood Lumber from A Distributor or Lumberyard?

If you have decided to purchase lumber at any home center in Houston, then there can be a lot of difference that you may not be aware of, while buying lumber at any lumberyard or distributor.

Lumberyards and their distribution centers are now offering a very wide variety of woods of different thicknesses, grades and to match your options. In this write-up, we are providing few practical tips for buying lumber at any distributor or lumberyard.


While buying hardwoods from any lumber yards Houston, you will not find any lumber thickness mentioned in inches, and instead the measurement is done in quarters. Such as 1” thick board will be written as 4/4.

Keep in mind that the lumber is sawn and dried so any board which started as 4/4 will be approximately 7/8” and that thickness will be before using any planner for surfacing.

Board foot

Board foot is considered as the unit for volume to measure hardwoods. As the hardwoods are traded in different lengths, thickness and width, so its measure is able to account for all those variables at one go like volume.


The highest grade of boards is FAS grade and next is #1 Common and next #2 Common. Depending upon your project, you can select your grade. Few projects, e.g. tabletops and high-quality furniture, you may prefer the highest grade that is available. Most of other projects can be managed with #1 Common.

Milling services

Rough lumber will rarely be flat or straight. So, by milling, you can save some money however it may take time. It is beneficial to see what milling options that your distributor will offer.

Most of the yards can offer following milling services:

  • Rip one rough edge to make board straight
  • Plane both faces slightly by taking nearly 1/16” off
  • Plane both faces, by leaving no rough or cut marks by removing about 1/8” of thickness
  • Mill both edges and faces

There can be different costs that will be added to final price of any rough lumber for covering the expense of additional milling. Based on your situation, you may save your money in long run with saved labor, reduction in equipment and faster lead times.

There are many other things that you may learn e.g. air-dried wood vs. any kiln dried and salvaged wood or highly figured wood. Now visit any of your local lumberyard to check how much useful the above information is for you.

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