Peninsular Lumber Company


8 Disadvantages of Buying Lumber from “Big Box” Stores

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Why you should check all of the options for buying lumber.

We’re not going to sit here and say that “big box” stores aren’t useful. After all, we’ve all been to stores like Walmart, Target, Costco, Big Lots, etc. Even large home improvement stores are fine for many things, but that’s the last place you should be going to purchase lumber. While some custom home builders may use “big box” stores for certain items, they know exactly where to buy lumber—at a local lumber yard, of course! Today, we’re going to expand on that by explaining some of the disadvantages of getting your building materials from a large retailer.

Higher Prices of Lumber

When someone is trying to figure out where to buy lumber, they may want to turn to “big box” stores to get a deal. The truth, though, is that these large retailers often don’t have the best lumber prices because they’re not as connected to the industry as your local lumber yard. Even when they can beat the price, the difference will be minimal, and you may be losing out on quality lumber or the right type of wood.

Lack of Expertise

If you walk into a large retail store, even a home improvement store, you’ll find the employees typically have a broad knowledge of the industry. The problem is that while they may know a good deal of information about wood, a lot of it will be general information. The employees at a lumber yard, however, specialize in wood varieties, wood projects, and everything else involved because that’s all they deal with day in and day out.

Limited Wood Choices

Even huge “big box” stores with tons of space can only carry a limited variety of different products. This is especially true with lumber because it takes up so much space. This is why you’ll find only a handful of wood varieties and possibly low quantities of what’s in stock. Lumber yards, by their nature, will have a wide variety of woods available, including specialty wood that you won’t be able to get at any large retailer.

Often Lower Quality

Experts in any industry are going to take more pride in the quality of what they’re offering than some random, everyday worker. “Big box” stores are much more concerned with sales graphs and financial statements than with selling subpar wood. Compare that to a lumber yard, where their biggest concern, above all others, is delivering premium quality building materials every time.

Impersonal Service

When you’re trying to figure out where to buy lumber, one of the things you should always consider is the type of service you’ll receive. We’re not saying that large retailers have bad customer service. Since they deal with so many different types of products and such a wide range of customer requests there’s no way for their service to be as focused as you’ll get in a lumber yard.

Lack of Customization

Another problem with “big box” stores is that they don’t have a lot of customization options available. With many types of custom home building projects, you’ll require custom cuts to pull them off. Instead of doing it yourself, it’s a lot safer to have a professional make the cuts. Employees at a large retailer can cut wood to a certain size, but will not be able to shape the wood to your specifications.

Lower Level of Care

If you were to compare wood from a lumber yard and wood from a “big box” store, there’s a very good chance that you’d see a difference in how they look. Large retailers don’t concern themselves too much with properly storing wood or providing it with some sort of protection, nor do they know which type of wood might be susceptible to deterioration. In some cases, careless and constant handling by customers may cause damage to the wood.

Too Much Wood Waste

If a piece of wood in a “big box” store gets damaged, there’s a good chance that a worker will throw it in the trash, regardless of a company’s recycling policy. This is also true with sawdust because, when cleaning the store, the sawdust will often get mixed in with other debris and be thrown in a garbage bag. Lumberyards, on the other hand, recycle everything, including wood pulp and sawdust. Not one sliver will go to waste.

Contact Peninsular Lumber, the Best Place to Buy Lumber in Tampa Bay

If you’re still curious about where to buy lumber, look no further than the Peninsular Lumber Company in Tampa. If you have any questions about our lumber yard or would like to take a look around, give us a call at (813) 875-8805 today.