How to Choose the Right Grades of Lumber in Seattle for Your Upcoming Project

In order to properly prepare for an upcoming DIY project, you will have to select the right type of wood, which can be difficult without the right knowledge and information. Fortunately, there is a grading system that is already in place based on how the wood will be used, as well as the strength and appearance of the piece of lumber. Using this grading system as a guide, you will be able to successfully find the right grades of lumber in Seattle for your next job:

  • Structural wood: The stronger softwoods are graded based on their strength and size as opposed to their appearance, and are referred to as structural or construction grade wood. Some of the most common types of structural wood are southern pine, Douglas fir, redwood and spruce-pine-fir (SPF). It is important to note that the size of the boards is measured before they are dressed, and when the wood is surfaced on all four sides, the precise measurements of the wood are altered slightly. For example, if you have a piece of 2” x 2” wood, the net dimensions will actually be 1.5” x 1.5”.
  • Millwork: On the other hand, you might be working on a project where the physical appearance of the wood is a primary factor, and you need finished lumber that is workable and can be painted or stained when construction is complete. If you are working on trim or cabinets that need a smooth surface so they can be finished, you will need paint grade or primed wood. Some of these types of wood include redwood, hem-fir and western red cedar. If you want the wood grain to be visible, target stain grade, clear, supreme or select woods, such as eastern white or ponderosa pine.
  • Exterior: When working on an outdoor project, it is important that the wood you select has high weather resistant properties. Western red cedar and redwood have compounds that naturally protect against water damage and insects, making them great selections for exterior projects. The only additions you will need to make for these types of wood are a seal and a stain for the coloring of your choice.
  • Interior: With weather resistant properties not holding the same importance for indoor wood projects, you will be able to choose a type of wood that boasts appealing aesthetic characteristics. If you are looking for wood to complete an interior flooring project, you might select one of the harder softwoods, such as Douglas fir or southern pine.

The entire outcome of your project depends on selecting the right wood, and that is why our experienced team of professionals at Stewart Lumber & Hardware Co. is here to help you every step of the way. We know just how important it is to select the right grades of lumber in Seattle, and no matter how long it takes we will make sure you have the right wood to complete your project successfully. Pay us a visit today so we can help get your project off to the right start.

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