What do Walnut, Ipe, Teak and Spanish Cedar have in common? They are all distinguished from other species of lumber by a number of unique traits. Simply put, you’ll be in for a surprise if you anticipate their costs, availability, grading, or overall qualities to be comparable to those of any other (read: typical) lumber species. Ipe stands out among the aforementioned species for the main reason that it is very well-liked.
There are many reasons to enjoy Ipe, one of our most popular tropical hardwood decking species at J. Gibson McIlvain Lumber. We’ll examine Ipe’s availability and cost in this post, two distinctive features that are closely interconnected.
Seasonal Price Variations
All lumber species’ prices are affected by a variety of circumstances, but the seasonal supply and availability of Ipe is well known for making its prices change throughout the course of a year. At the start of decking season, in the middle of the summer, and then near the end of the decking season, if you asked the same timber supplier about pricing for the exact same Ipe decking project, you would almost surely receive wildly different quotes. The inequality in pricing based on the time of year has a completely logical reason, too.
The price quote would tend to be the lowest if the Ipe lumber were ordered in the spring, just before the deck-building season began. The cause is straightforward: supply and demand. Fresh from Brazil, any timber provider would have the widest variety and most extensive stock of Ipe decking lumber during the spring months. Approximately a dozen wood packs of Ipe would need to be broken to meet the size and grade requirements for your order if the order is placed at that time and is on the smaller side. The cost may be raised to account for the additional labor and processing time needed to complete the order.
Order Size Price Variations
Let’s keep using the aforementioned example. But suppose you anticipate using roughly five times as much lumber for other tasks over the course of the summer. Because there would be less need for splitting packs, the cost per board foot will be lower, which will lower the overhead costs related to satisfying your order.
The cause in pricing variability for Ipe is related to the order quantity, associated overhead expenses, seasonal availability, and fluctuating costs of purchasing more Ipe, in addition to other factors. Waiting until the middle of the season, however, may force you to buy higher-grade Ipe than you really need, because Ipe wood in general won’t be as readily available. Additional labor charges will result from searching through already-broken packs to discover the sizes of lumber which your Ipe order requires.
The same order can cost even more by the end of the season, because supplies by then will be scarce, and because no additional Ipe will arrive until the winter because of the Brazilian wet season impeding log transportation.
Continue reading with Part 2.
J. Gibson McIlvain Company
Since 1798, when Hugh McIlvain established a lumber business near Philadelphia, the McIlvain family has been immersed in the premium import and domestic lumber industry. With its headquarters located just outside of Baltimore, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company (www.mcilvain.com) is one of the largest U.S. importers of exotic woods.
As an active supporter of sustainable lumber practices, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company has provided fine lumber for notable projects throughout the world, including the White House, Capitol building, Supreme Court, and the Smithsonian museums.
Contact a sales representative at J. Gibson McIlvain today by calling toll free (800) 638-9100.