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Old 02-18-2007, 06:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I've begun finishing my basement and realized that I have greatly underestimated the amount of lumber I would need. So rather than spending an entire day at Home Depot again, I was thinking of ordering and having it delivered. My only concern is... how bad will the lumber I get be?

If you have done this before, how was the lumber you received? Also, sounds like Home Depot drops it in your driveway, but will local lumber yards carry it down to the basement, even with an extra charge?

I'm in PA, outside phili and unfortunately we just got a foot of snow/ice which means we can't carry it down the bilco and instead need to go through the garage and down into the basement.

Nick
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Old 02-18-2007, 06:52 PM
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When they deliver lumber it's a mixed bag. But, sometimes they let you pick it out and then they take it in the back and tag it for delivery.

On a side not why don't you consider steel studs. Cheaper, straighter and dust free.

Jon
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Old 02-18-2007, 08:14 PM
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f you have done this before, how was the lumber you received?....will local lumber yards carry it down to the basement

Ha! You will be lucky if they will drop it where you want it and not smash your shrubs in the process. These guys are truck drivers and will not do anything that requires actual labor.

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Old 02-19-2007, 06:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Jon,

I used wood over stud, due to familiarity. I've never done a project this big before, so basically the fewer "new things" to tackle the better

Looks like I might have to rent a truck and go pick up some lumber from home depot myself. In the end it sounds like it will take just as much time to sort through the bad lumber and return it, not to mention carrying it from my driveway to my basement.

Nick
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Old 02-19-2007, 07:15 AM
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I have been a contractor for 17+ years. Do not let the building supply people pick your lumber for you!
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Old 02-19-2007, 07:28 AM
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I made that mistake once.

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Old 02-19-2007, 07:47 AM
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Yeah same here, burnt one never again - my local wood yard would not let me in the main area to hand select - said was too dangerous. The stuff I got was the worst lumber I've ever had. So I'd rather go to HD, pay a premium and get to hand pick my lumber.

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Old 02-19-2007, 07:57 AM
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I just recently finished the framing of my basement HT (13x24) and bathroom & hallway. I started with a delivery of 250 2x4x8s from Lowes (the 2.00 cheapies). I'd say out of the 250 about 30 weren't straight (banana shaped) or twisted. Out of those 30 about 6 were really unusable. They delivered to driveway.

My wife and a neighbor helped me get them in the basement. My wife was in the basement and my neighbor and I handed them through a basement window that was close to the driveway. Worked pretty well.

I too under estimated. I made about another 4 trips with my suv and brought back at least 16 2x4x8s each trip. Those were for soffits and columns so I used the better grade lumber. Those I hand picked and were straighter. So in total that would be around 314 2x4x8s. Also used about 12 2x6's.

I'm glad to done with the framing. I'm on electrical now

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Old 02-19-2007, 07:58 AM
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Hey Nick,

I am in West Chester, PA. If that is near your home you can borrow my truck.
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Old 02-19-2007, 08:01 AM
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If that is near your home you can borrow my truck.

Then generosity in this forum never ceases to amaze me.

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Old 02-19-2007, 08:19 AM
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I'm in Indiana, If you come here, you can borrow my wife. But you have to keep her for a few months.
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Old 02-19-2007, 08:23 AM
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For what it's worth, I was at Lowes last year picking through 2x4s for my basement. Sad thing was, they were absolutely HORRIBLE. They were either not straight (I don't mean just a little off, but way out of whack), broken, or chipped really bad about a foot or more on each end. I needed many, but was only able to pick out about 10 after going through about 100. I told my Father in Law that it was ridiculous and I'd go to another Lowes or HD to look. As we were getting ready to leave, I saw one of the managers and a lady employee come over with a big cart. He had a list and he said "Ok, we have the drywall ready to go, and he needs 110 2x4s". I watched as they took the ones that I set to the side because they were broken and cracked down the centers. He began loading them up.

Because I sifted through all the junk that he placed on the cart, I said to myself "I don't care how long it takes me to find some good 2x4s, I'll never have them pick it out". I knew nothing of metal studs at that time, but if I had it to do all over again, that's exactly what I would have went with. I got the best 2x4s and 2x3s that I could, but they sucked.

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Old 02-19-2007, 08:34 AM
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Listen up,

Delivery or cherry picking, HomeDepot/Lowes is no place to buy lumber if you care about the quality.

If you want delivery, find the lumber yard that deals with reputable contractors in your area. These people have a local reputation to uphold as opposed to a billion dollar national conglomerate which doesn't care what you end up with as long as you paid for it.

Furthermore, you can borrow my wife, her mini-van, and everything in her closet, for an indefinite period, or atleast until I'm no longer with us.

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Old 02-19-2007, 08:45 AM
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I've had just the opposite experience (with Home Depot).

I had them deliver an order and all of the material was first rate, including about 100 2X4s. I mentioned it to the manager and he told me that they pick the best materials for their deliveries because it costs so much to go back and pick up any lumber the customer was not happy with. They did just deliver it to my driveway, but it was completely wrapped in plastic to protect it from the weather.

I'm sure every HD has its own policies/practices.

I ordered a delivery from a local lumberyard and it was terrible.

YMMV

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Old 02-19-2007, 08:50 AM
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The best bet if you want to select is often a small to medium sized yard in a small town. Especially true if you have developed a relationship with the workers there. I live near a town of about 9000 and have done that. I am on a first name basis with everyone from the manager on down so am able to not only select, but they will let me know if they have a good batch (and some batches can be way better or worse than others) and give me their contractor pricing.

They may be a bit more than Home Depot/Lowes but the service and quality are damn well worth it. I needed just one piece of truly flat 3/4 AC plywood last week and we pulled out 10 sheets just to get to a good one.

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Old 02-19-2007, 09:49 AM
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The problem with going to the big boxes is that you usually have to pull off the first five rows to get through the rejects from previous customers that have been neatly restacked back on top by the employees. Ditto for items like oak ply. I went through probably - no exageration - TWENTY 4'x8' sheets of 1/2" oak ply one night trying to find ONE sheet that had a presentable side to use. In the late stages of this project I went through two stores and a total of probably THIRTY 2'x4' sheets of 1/4" oak ply trying to find ONE that was not warped into a half-pipe, before giving up and buying a 4'x8' sheet that I used about 10% of. If I had let them pick this stuff for me I would have been very, very angry with the results.

An independant lumber yard near my house had beautiful sheets of oak ply that they pulled and delivered, and though each sheet cost 33% more, they delivered that and a load of insulation for free. Since I was working on this nights and weekends, their banker's hours tended to work against buying a lot of the remaining total tonnage from them.
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:43 AM
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I also had Home Depot deliver my materials when I finished my basement. Of the 120 or so 2 x 4s they delivered, only a couple were warped. I was suprised at how straight and true they were.

However, they did not do much more that drop it off in my driveway. The tow motor would not fit into the garage. I had to hand carry everything into the garage for temporary storage and later down to the basement.
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Old 02-19-2007, 11:35 AM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EFDF View Post

Listen up,

Delivery or cherry picking, HomeDepot/Lowes is no place to buy lumber if you care about the quality.

If you want delivery, find the lumber yard that deals with reputable contractors in your area. These people have a local reputation to uphold as opposed to a billion dollar national conglomerate which doesn't care what you end up with as long as you paid for it.

Furthermore, you can borrow my wife, her mini-van, and everything in her closet, for an indefinite period, or atleast until I'm no longer with us.

Absolutely agree. HD/Lowes lumber is all(as far as I can tell) really young, fast growth wood. It's really quite terrible. Pay extra for good wood for anything important. The HD stuff will warp and twist like crazy, it's super green, it splits easy, it's just pretty terrible all around.

Go to a real lumber yard. Buy real wood.
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Old 02-19-2007, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

Absolutely agree. HD/Lowes lumber is all(as far as I can tell) really young, fast growth wood. It's really quite terrible. Pay extra for good wood for anything important. The HD stuff will warp and twist like crazy, it's super green, it splits easy, it's just pretty terrible all around.

Go to a real lumber yard. Buy real wood.


When a builder is building many homes in a development, where do they normally get their wood? When I was in the Baltimore area, our developer got most of their stuff from Lowes. I wonder if that is the norm? I'd think yes as the builder wants to save money. When I say Lowes, I mean Lowes/HD. I'm happy with sifting through the wood on my own to find something straight to save money...especially when the rest of my house was built from wood from Lowes as well. I can't vouch for the house I'm in now as it was built when I purchased it.

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Old 02-19-2007, 12:29 PM
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The wood at the orange and blue stores are North America tree species like a pine tree that are grown down in South America where you can get 20 years of growth in about 13 years. They're not necessarily straight, but it sure grows fast.

Said orange store purchases 10% of Chile's entire forest exports.
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Old 02-19-2007, 12:34 PM
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Here on the west coast HD lumber is total crap. Lowes has much better quality lumber.

Keep in mind though that construction grade lumber is just that. Often minor warpage does not effect the final build quality. An uneven stud is masked by the drywall. A beat up floor joist is still structurally sound. Plus have you ever seen a square and plumb room? Even in a custom built multi million dollar home it's never found.

When you truly need straight lumber such as for colum or soffit construction you can buy premimum grade stuff at a good lumber yard. But be sure to bring your cash cow along!
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Old 02-19-2007, 12:34 PM

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When a builder is building many homes in a development

I don't generally pay attention to what builders mass-constructing many new homes, often with cheap materials, are doing. You have to pay for good wood, if you want quality. I grew up on the east coast where many homes are a century or more old, and still standing strong through hurricanes, snowstorms, and more. A lot of these new homes going into all these developments are made cheaply, with cheap materials, cheap wood, cheap methods. The home will sag, warp, twist, and generally suffer from the cheapness. It's hard to imagine many of these homes 50 years from now.

There are many things you can cut corners on, especially if you're just doing interior walls, but if you're doing important stuff, load bearing, etc, overbuilding is the best philosophy, IMO as far as homes go. Build for the long term, with quality materials and quality work. The quality will maintain better and hold value.

The wood from places like HD is just generally crap, and I would avoid it for any kind of building project unless 'crap' is acceptable (things like garages, structures or walls that aren't structural, other simple things.

Good lumber is fundamental, and IMO is totally worth the cost. Also one should be aware of the sources of the lumber, what kind of forestry practices are involved, etc, and include these environmental considerations in your buying choices. There are some alternative products out there which can be really great too.
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Old 02-19-2007, 12:58 PM
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Personal Experiences....

I'm about 10 percent into the process of framing out my basement. My first trip to purchase 2x lumber was to HD (with my $300 HD gift card in hand). I picked through 30 or so 2x4x10 boards desperately trying to find anything what was straight and whole. I found none. I couldn't even find a label with the price for the 10' lengths I was looking through! I left with gift card still in tact.

My second stop was to a local lumber yard a few miles from my house. they let me drive around back and pick my own boards. After 10 minutes or so, I had 30 boards sticking out of the back of my Tahoe and only 3 boards set aside that I considered bad. These 3 "bad" boards were better than anything I saw at HD!

I need a whole lot more than 30 boards of course, but I don't mind the dozen trips I'll need to make. It lets me cherry pick and save on floor space in the basement.

Note: Don't forget to let your lumber sit in its intended build area for a few days to adjust to humidity and temperature.

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Old 02-19-2007, 01:00 PM
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The big box stores will let you return wood after a delivery. So you can have them deliver a bunch of wood and return the rejects assuming you have a truck to return them with. And their delivery guy was pretty nice and managed to get everything in the garage using the fork lift without damaging anything. If you have them put it in your garage, make sure they don't hit the top of the garage door frame with the lift. Apparently that is very common, though mostly in new construction before the driveway has been poured.

For my riser, I cherry picked to get straight 2x6s. I had to dig pretty deep in the pile over several trips to get the lumber I wanted. It took a while but I managed to get enough to make the riser.


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Old 02-19-2007, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

I don't generally pay attention to what builders mass-constructing many new homes, often with cheap materials, are doing. You have to pay for good wood, if you want quality. I grew up on the east coast where many homes are a century or more old, and still standing strong through hurricanes, snowstorms, and more. A lot of these new homes going into all these developments are made cheaply, with cheap materials, cheap wood, cheap methods. The home will sag, warp, twist, and generally suffer from the cheapness. It's hard to imagine many of these homes 50 years from now.

There are many things you can cut corners on, especially if you're just doing interior walls, but if you're doing important stuff, load bearing, etc, overbuilding is the best philosophy, IMO as far as homes go. Build for the long term, with quality materials and quality work. The quality will maintain better and hold value.

The wood from places like HD is just generally crap, and I would avoid it for any kind of building project unless 'crap' is acceptable (things like garages, structures or walls that aren't structural, other simple things.

Good lumber is fundamental, and IMO is totally worth the cost. Also one should be aware of the sources of the lumber, what kind of forestry practices are involved, etc, and include these environmental considerations in your buying choices. There are some alternative products out there which can be really great too.

I understand what you are saying. I guess I'm talking weekest link in a chain here. If a house (like most are these days) was built with crappy lumber from a big chain store, why would I spend extra money at a lumber yard for the interior walls to finish my basement? So in 50 years, when my house crumbles due to crappy wood, I still have a portion of my basement left? I would rather use the GOOD wood on the structure of the house. For a basement refinishing project, I really don't care. I find the straightest boards I can. If they have crowns, I make sure they all face the same way so my drywall doesn't look like a snake. I wish an entire house was built with GOOD wood, but let's face it. You hit the nail on the head. These new developments now go up so fast because they are built cheaply and quickly. I just have a hard time justifying spending the extra cash for lumber from a lumber yard for a Basement Refinishing project when the rest of the house was built with wood from a Big Chain store.

Tony
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Old 02-19-2007, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by monsoon View Post

Note: Don't forget to let your lumber sit in its intended build area for a few days to adjust to humidity and temperature.

In this area most of the independants have outdoor lumber yards. With the winter we are having I would have to warm up anything I bought for a month, at which point it might not look better than what I have to dig through at the big guys!


Quote:
Originally Posted by monsoon View Post

My first trip to purchase 2x lumber was to HD (with my $300 HD gift card in hand). I picked through 30 or so 2x4x10 boards desperately trying to find anything what was straight and whole. I found none. I couldn't even find a label with the price for the 10' lengths I was looking through! I left with gift card still in tact.

Allow me to rant OT about gift cards. I hate getting roped into a particular store with a gift card. Right now I am sitting on a $50 card from a store I hate. I'll probably wind up buying something I don't want/need just to use it up. And they wrote my name on it so I can't even re-gift! As much as I appreciate the gift, give American Express or Visa gift cards, people!!!

Thanks, feeling better now...
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Old 02-19-2007, 01:27 PM

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Allow me to rant OT about gift cards. I hate getting roped into a particular store with a gift card. Right now I am sitting on a $50 card from a store I hate. I'll probably wind up buying something I don't want/need just to use it up. And they wrote my name on it so I can't even re-gift! As much as I appreciate the gift, give American Express or Visa gift cards, people!!!

Thanks, feeling better now...

Man! I'm glad I'm not looking for gifts for you!

I'm just kidding. It is kind of annoying sometimes when people get you odd gifts. I have a giant stack of Starbucks gift cards. Not only do I never go to starbucks, these gift cards are really a scam because they actually expire. I think the whole gift card thing is really just big money for a lot of these places because a lot of people probably forget or lose the card, or they don't spend all of it and the stores just pocket that money I guess. And then, it's impossible to buy something for the price of the gift card, so that whole thing bothers me too because you end up spending your own money. I'm old fashioned, and I don't care what economists say about the inefficiency of giving gifts instead of cash or gift cards, I far prefer getting a simple gift than some gift card. I do like cash though, that's always a nice gift.
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Old 02-19-2007, 01:52 PM
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I've read that the quality of wood at the big stores varies a lot by country region. It probably also varies a lot depending on the particular day you go. I bought my studs from Lowes and most are pretty good. Some warped badly, but I set those aside and use them for short runs.

For $55, they delivered 200 studs, a bunch of plywood, 2x10's, and 20 rolls of insulation and even put it inside my garage since it was supposed to rain that day. They even threw in an extra bag of insulation (by mistake?) and ~10% extra study (probably to account for warped ones). Best $55 I've ever spent.
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Old 02-19-2007, 03:51 PM
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I would go to a local lumber yard and get it delivered. Local yards here dont charge for delivery if its close- HD nicks me for $75 every delivery no matter how small.
Every piece doesnt need to be straight- you cull out the bad ones and cut them up for blocking and or shorter pieces etc. Plan on 10-15% not being usable as straight studs, but they can be used somewhere else. Also instead of buying stud grade stuff ask for select or #2. The difference in what the boxes carry and the lumber yards carry can mostly be accounted for by grade.(although in my area the local buyers sometimes dont do such a hot job) If you want straight stuff and can afford it get LVL studs- nice and straight in any length you want but 3x the cost.
HD and Lowes usually dont deliver from stock on the floor, it comes out of another yard, or the store stock which has not been picked through, so I havent found the quality to be as bad as running in and picking from floor stock. The big problem with big box floor lumber is that folks pick through it, leaving fewer "good" sticks, and whats left doesn't get restacked correctly and then drys and twists etc.

I have bought from Lowes, HD and the locals- The big chains will not stock the materials on the job usually(drywall is an exception) but my local yards sometimes have labor available to stock lumber- you just need to ask. But it wont make any sense if its not a decent order. Hourly charges will eat you up.

Looking ahead to drywall get it delivered and stocked - unless you are hanging a half dozen sheets or you hang drywall all the time or need a great workout. My drywall is always delivered and stocked, HD also delivers and stocks drywall here, but the locals are usually cheaper. Plan for a extra buck or two a sheet depending on distance from truck/up- down stairs etc.

I cant answer any questions on AV stuff , but I have remodeled homes for 20 years.... back to searching for green glue experiences....
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Old 02-19-2007, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
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wow, didn't get a chance to check this thread today...

Ended up getting talked into placing an order with HD today by a coworker. I had to stay home tomorrow and wait for a repairman anyways, so it worked out nicely. One thing I noticed at HD was the sticks on the floor I was going through were terrible. I had them pull down a new stack though and almost every stick I went trhough was straight. So I'm hoping the delivery (200 2x4 firs) will be a new stack.... here's to hoping...

500hp - thanks for the offer, nice to see there are some local people on the board.

Nick
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