I searched the web for lumber online to compare against my local lumber yards.......www.niagaralumber.com seems to have a really good deal.......selects and better, boards greater than 4" wide, 4-6' long, 4/4 thick, and free shiping.......i checked the prices against the best local mill in my area and niagara beat them by as much as 50 cents a board foot......how can this be?....ever hear the saying if it sounds too good to be true then it probibly is?.... well i am lookin for that proverbial string that is attached and cant seem to find it...... i just dont now how they can UPS 100 BDF of lumber right to my house for less than it costs me to go to the mill and pick it out myself......anyone deal with this company or others like it?.... would appreciate some feedback before i try a purchase... i was gonna start at 20 bdf and see what they give me......
I'm really interested in your experience--be sure to post. I haven't bought any wood that way, but it sure would be convenient, since I have only a small car with no roof rack. Of course, you're at their mercy in selecting boards, as opposed to going to a mill, but still. . .
The issue of selecting boards is one of the major reasons that you might get a lower price.
I have spent some time talking to my local supplier. Northern Hardwoods in Santa Clara Ca. They sell large lots of hardwood and hardwood ply to the industry.
The price you pay for the material is in part based on they know that they will get stuck with the boards that no one wants to select out of the stack. They end up putting the left overs on a sale area and even that gets picked over a lot. They will end up with some they can't sell.
If you buy wood in whole units you will get a much lower price partly due to the fact there is some of the material even in a select and better stack that you won't be able to use.
I have never bought wood I could not touch first but, I have bought whole lots (thats 1000 bd ft) after looking at the stack as a whole.
If you do try them let us know what you get. My assumption is that it will be the second or third order that will tell the total quality. Your first trial order will be ok would be my guess. If not then you will know they are dumb and cheep.
One of the major issues of selecting boards beyond selection is the length issues. when you buy lumber from a local mill, you are paying for grade. length is one of those factors. believe me it is hard to ship more than 7 1/2 feet with ups. This automatically lowers a top fas (high price)grade to a select (medium price) grade. this is how they can do it. they ship lower grades. plus many of them saw their own, which drops the price substancially. other factors are width & defects.
Until recently I had to buy all my hard wood mail order...no local supplier (I've recently found a rather large sawmill, albeit a 30 mile drive); but have had nothing but success with the mail order stuff. I haven't used Niagara, but Bristol Valley in NY, and Steve Wall in NC are both top rated and send 20-25 bd. ft. bundels by UPS. There is an issue with length of boards that come by UPS due to package size restrictions, which leaves the only alternative: motor freight. Then you get into order size problems, most places only ship motor freight in multiples of 100 bd. ft. My latest order (13 pieces of hardwood plywood) cost $164 to be shipped about 400 miles, and then I still had to pick it up at the local truck terminal.