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Save Money on Remodelling Despite High Lumber Costs

Deeply rooted in mankind’s primal past, lumber has been used as a key component for shelter. Sturdy, reliable, and versatile, the possibilities are limitless for any interior designer and engineer. However, the problem lies with the currently ever-increasing prices of lumber.

Lumber companies in Canada utilize all kinds of wood, from oak, maple, and more, but one thing is the same — expensive wood prices. So, how can you fully realize that house remodelling vision without breaking the bank? Read on to learn some ways in saving up on costs without sacrificing quality.

What Made Lumber Expensive?

The pandemic lockdowns affected the supply and demand for lumber

Even before the pandemic, the demand for quality lumber has been at an all-time high. This sudden spike in lumber prices in Canada first started after the Great Recession during the last decade. Rigorous environmental sanctions and the production of more synthetic materials have also pushed the lumber industry out of the market. Since then, the industry has yet to recover and increase its supply to meet the demand.

What made things even worse was the COVID 19 pandemic. Due to strict health protocols and constant lockdowns, lumber mills near you and all over the world may have struggled and closed down. Some unfortunate owners were forced to stop their operations or declare bankruptcy. This prompted a scarcer supply for timber, making it a rarer and luxurious commodity.

What caught companies off guard the most was this sudden boom of timber demand during the pandemic. With recent home designing trends that value simplicity and rustic aesthetics, the demand for lumber stocks has skyrocketed. Yet companies are still struggling to cope with this lumber mania due to the limited workforce and production.

10 Money-Saving Tips on Home Improvements

You can always consult your local lumber provider to help you in your redecoration but here is a run-through of some tips that you can follow:

  1. Consider lumber alternatives

If it’s locally available, you can try searching for companies that manufacture vinyl sliding doors and bamboo flooring. A vinyl sliding door is a cheaper alternative for patio and window openings.

It’s also more energy-efficient since it reflects more heat than a traditional aluminum door. Bamboo flooring on the other hand costs 50% less than hardwood. Bamboo is also more springy and can adapt to fluctuating temperatures, making it a more versatile material.

2. Make a detailed plan 

Always make a detailed plan before going through with a project

As any project would demand, you always need to come up with a plan beforehand. A project plan will normally consist of a complete layout, budget plan, and alternative proposals. When it comes to house remodelling, this blueprint becomes even more complicated. To make sure that your lumber use is as efficient as possible, you can hire an interior designer or engineer to help you out.

You can even try learning how to calculate the lumber used in every aspect of your house remodelling. This way you can ensure that every piece and inch is accounted for and no plank is wasted. Now, you might think that this task is too menial and unnecessary for a house remodelling affair. However, if your goal is to save costs, you also need to put in a bit of effort to budget your lumber.

3. Search or haggle for volume discounts

Haggles and discounts are not just for the flea market or thrift stores. Communicating with salespersons and lumber companies requires a special skill. Bargaining for cheaper prices is especially difficult since lumber is already expensive as it is. So, how can you do this without seeming desperate or stingy? Well, it all comes down to getting a little creative.

The first thing you can do is tell them that these discounts would make you a loyal customer and you would recommend them to friends and family. You can even buy these lumber wholesale to get a bigger discount and save more. You can even offer to carry the hardwood home on your own instead of paying an extra service for delivery.

4. Look out for sales

Take advantage of sales or promotional discounts

Prices in the lumber market may seem like it has not come down at all. “Will lumber prices ever go down?” you might ask. The answer is yes, and the solution is through timber sale. Now, some hardwood can be cheaper than others, but their costs are still way up there.

You can find other sources for lumber by going to other industries that use wood and buying their leftover pieces. These industries include cabinet and furniture makers who use high-quality lumber in their projects. They don’t use everything, so you can reclaim these discarded pieces for yourself.

Showrooms also have pieces that are stocked and already out of style. So, instead of letting them gather dust bunnies, you can buy them at cheaper prices and refurbish them as accents, panels, and doors.

5. Go Directly to the source 

To cut the middle man and to bypass their added costs, you can always go to the main lumber distributor. Now, this might seem difficult if you’re living in urbanized areas and no local distributors are present. However, you can always search online or ask local lumber resellers for their source.

Some of them might not be too open to discuss this with you. They may think you are a competitor or would rather that you buy from them instead. This is where your negotiation skills should come in. With the right tactics, you might just get the information that you need.

Once you get to the distributor, it’s important to tell them upfront that you are purchasing for a house remodelling. Some companies may only offer huge stock transactions for big businesses and you might end up paying dearly for that miscommunication.

6. Pick the cheaper type of wood

You can try affordable lumber for a change

High prices don’t always equate to high quality. Your contractor can help you sort out the choices by carefully matching what type of wood is fit for your remodelling project. This process is heavily influenced by the lumber grade of hardwood you choose.

Wood species will also determine the costs since some trees are seasonal and more abundant at other times of the year. A good example of this cheaper but more durable wood variety is the poplar tree. You can opt for this instead of the more expensive maple and cherry timbers.

7. Always compare prices

The location influences the lumber price. Since transportation and logistics play a great role in the pricing of hardwood, the farther you are from the source, the more expensive it will be. A realistic depiction of this is the huge price difference of wood in lumber yards and major depots.

Independent lumberyards or warehouses have a wider inventory and stock and they can offer you a cheaper price. Depots on the other hand have to pay for the delivery and manpower to carry the hardwood, which adds up to its overall cost.

8. Ask about used-wood

Be on the lookout for used wood or driftwood

With resourcefulness and a little bit of innovation, you can always repurpose discarded materials. Cheaper but just as durable as freshly cut wood, used lumber is an excellent lumber alternative.

Some artists have even used this sustainable concept by incorporating driftwoods into their projects. You can learn other imaginative ways to use discarded and reclaimed timber from environmentally conscious interior designers and architects.

9. Search the Internet

Searching for local sales and discounts in a nearby lumber mill is a great way to find reclaimed lumber and spare wood. It would be much easier to find them in junkyards but demolition sites also have them. These discounts would be easier to haggle and your acquisitions would be less costly.

10. Be on the lookout for free pallets

You might find free wooden pallets near you

Commonly used in DIY woodworking crafts, wood pallets are a good source of quality wood. Typically used by shipping, distribution centres, and furniture businesses, you can often find free pallets lying around in these types of establishments.

Big companies have protocols set for disposing of their pallets, which means that the key to finding these free pallets is by contacting small businesses. These locally owned woodworking shops will have a harder time throwing out their waste so you can volunteer to get these pallets and use them for your house remodelling.

Consult your contractor on remodelling designs that fit the budget

Recent global crises have lowered the supply of lumber, thus increasing its price. International treaties have been created to protect and preserve wild forests that are essential for the ecosystem. However, this is not the end of the road, because you can always go the eco-friendly route and still save some cash.

No one wants to be a penny pincher but when it comes to home remodelling every cent counts. Now, there are different ways to do that in your search for lumber and materials. Your contractors can advise you on what to do and what materials to buy. At the end of the day, you just have to get extra creative to use this precious timber.

If you are looking for engineered hardwood products in Toronto, get in touch with Capitol Hardwood Flooring. We offer quality hardwood flooring for your home renovation projects at affordable prices. Call us now at (416) 536-2200 or email us at info@capitalfloor.com to request a quote.

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