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How to Save Money on Lumber

Ever since I was a kid I was brought up to be frugal and to save and budget money. * Disclaimer: I am not a financial planner.

You can find great deals on new and used materials in many different ways: mill ends, closeouts, reclaimed lumber, auctions... the list goes on! In this article

Mill ends

Mill ends are a popular way to save money on lumber. These are the short pieces of wood that are cut off from a long board before it's used in building construction or furniture making. Mill ends can be found at your local hardware store, or you can ask your favorite carpenter if he knows anyone who may have some for sale cheap.

Mill ends will often be discounted because they come in odd sizes and aren't quite as good quality as some of the other boards available at your local lumber yard—but it's not always true! You can sometimes find mill ends that are actually better than what's currently on display, so don't rule them out completely just because they're discounted.

If you're starting out with a new project and need all sorts of different sizes of wood (as opposed to just one size), then mill ends might be just what you need! A lot of people start their DIY projects by buying cheap materials like these first so they know what works best before investing more money into nicer pieces later down the road (when they've already learned something).


The best way to save money on lumber is to buy closeouts. Closeouts are brand-new, but they haven't been in stores very long. This means that the price of the product hasn't had time to increase yet, allowing you to get a deal on it. It can be difficult finding these deals online because they are often sold out by the time you hear about them, but if you know where to look and when to shop, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to find what you need at a great price!

Reclaimed lumber

Reclaimed lumber is a great option for DIY projects. It's usually more expensive than new lumber, but it is a good investment if you plan on keeping the project for a long time. Reclaimed wood has character and some pieces may even have a history tied to them, making them even more valuable. Some reclaimed options include barn siding and flooring from old factories or warehouses.

Reclaimed lumber is also more durable than new lumber because of its thicker grain structure and tight growth patterns.

It is possible to find good deals on lumber.

It is possible to find good deals on lumber.

Mill ends are discounted lumber that gets cut off the end of a board and usually sold for pennies per square foot. For example, if you were looking for 4x4s for a deck, but only needed 16' of them, you might be able to get 12' for about half the cost of new ones.

Closeouts are discounted lumber that has been discontinued by the manufacturer or needs to be cleared out quickly before it goes bad (usually from being outside). Again, this offers an opportunity to save money while making something cool with your own hands! You can often find these items online or at stores like Home Depot or Lowes—but they're often limited in quantity so act fast!

Reclaimed lumber is discounted because someone else already made something awesome with it and now they're selling off their leftovers at below-market prices so they can make room in their garage/shed/attic/etcetera! This is also one way to repurpose materials into something new through DIY projects like furniture building or home improvement projects like repairing siding around your house's windowsills—you'll save money on supplies while reducing wastefulness in landfills around town too!

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There are a variety of ways to save money on lumber, and each one has its own benefits. By being vigilant about how much you spend on building supplies in general, and keeping your eye out for sales, you can get high-quality materials at low prices.

Tips to reduce costs in lumber

Every year, my business saves thousands of dollars on lumber by planning ahead and being sure to take advantage of all the opportunities to save. Here are some tips that you can use to reduce your costs when buying lumber:

Buy in bulk.

  • Buy in bulk. If you have the space and storage capacity, buying in bulk can help you save money on lumber. There are two main ways to do this:
  • Buy a larger quantity of the same type and grade of wood. This is a great option if you have a consistent need for specific types and grades of lumber (e.g., hardwood flooring). Buying more than one pallet at a time will allow you to purchase each piece at its most discounted rate, so long as all pieces are from the same supplier and cut from the same order number or batch number.
  • Buy different types of wood in large quantities that can be combined for various projects (e.g., decking material). This way, instead of having multiple smaller orders coming from various suppliers over time, there's only one large order with many different types of wood coming from just one supplier—which saves time spent placing three separate orders every year!

Avoid construction waste.

  • Avoid construction waste.
  • Use the right tools.
  • Use the right lumber.
  • Use the right materials.
  • Use the right resources, people and time.

Compare prices at lumberyards and home centers.

You might find that a local lumberyard has better prices than the home center. This is especially true if you need specialty lumber or plan to buy in large quantities. Larger volume purchases are often cheaper since they give the supplier more profit.

If you do your comparison shopping at a chain store or online, it's important to know that all retailers offer their product at one price and then add shipping costs on top of that price, which can make them look like they're very expensive compared to local stores. However, when you include shipping costs in comparing different retailers' items side by side (or even when comparing retailer-to-retailer), it becomes clear that many times buying from a local store locally is still cheaper than ordering from an out-of-town retailer online.

Make business relationships with lumber suppliers.

A good way to reduce costs is by making business relationships with lumber suppliers. You can negotiate for a discount on your purchases if you buy regularly or exclusively from them. The greater the volume of wood that you buy, the better your chances are at getting a discount.

Limit your reliance on subcontractors.

Subcontractors can be unreliable, expensive and hard to manage. They can also be a great option if you're not sure what you're doing.

If you haven't built a house before and are looking for advice on how to save money by yourself, then subcontractors might not be the best first choice. If you have experience in building homes, then it's definitely worth considering how much money can be saved by hiring a subcontractor or two instead of handling everything on your own.

Purchase from multiple lumber suppliers.

  • If you're buying lumber in bulk, it's important to have a variety of suppliers.
  • There are several reasons for this. First, you can negotiate better prices with multiple suppliers. Second, if one supplier offers lower prices but doesn't deliver on time or has poor quality control, you'll have another option to fall back on. Third, some lumber companies will offer better terms (like payment plans) than others and these may be negotiable too!

Plan ahead to save money on lumber!

  • Buy in bulk.
  • Use better grades of lumber.
  • Consider the location of your lumber supplier.
  • Avoid construction waste.
  • Compare prices at lumberyards and home centers, but also take into account the convenience factor when choosing between them in terms of time and effort required to get to each one.

Consider making business relationships with more than one supplier so that if one source is out of stock on a given product type, there's always another option available for you to switch over to until new stock arrives--or maybe even use both suppliers simultaneously (e.g., if one company has a lower price per unit but only sells whole logs while another sells cut boards).


This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2022 Shanon Sandquist

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