Good ways to find wholesale lumber include contacting nearby commercial sawmills, plywood plants and lumber yards to establish what is available there. Before purchasing lumber on wholesale, buyers should determine how much of it can be put to use within the product's shelf life and how much storage space is available, notes HomeDepot.com.
Buying wholesale is always cheaper than buying retail. However, large quantities must be bought to get a meaningful discount. For sawmills and lumberyards, bulk is usually tens of thousands of board feet on an ongoing basis. Only industrial-sized wood product facilities can maintain this level of purchasing in most cases.
Few suppliers, wholesale or retail, can satisfy all customer lumber needs. It is important as a buyer to keep a record of what to buy from which supplier along with each supplier's stock keeping unit numbers and prices. This will save much frustration when it comes to time to re-order.
Lumber from commercial sawmills can also be relatively cheaper than from lumber yards since sawmills sell products as they come from the tree trunk. However, the only thing that the millwright has any say in is the thickness. Having the lumber sized or smoothed increases its price.