Imagine sitting out on your brand new Genuine Mahogany deck drinking a glass of wine and admiring the sunset. Or pretend you’re sitting with your fishing pole on your Ipe dock. Or perhaps you’re more drawn to the thought of cooking dinner for your family in your outdoor Cumaru kitchen or chatting with your friends around a teak bar.
These are all pretty dreams- with potentially big price tags. If you’re looking for a rich look on your deck project without the high price tag, the lumber industry leader McIlvain Company has a solution for you. For 10 to 30 percent less than its normal size counterparts, McIlvain can sell you short lumber for your project. Short lumber can be a great alternative for many projects, an alternative that leaves you with more money in your pocket.
What is short lumber?
In the U.S. market, short lumber is defined as boards that are six to seven feet long. This length does not exist in Europe, and they use short lumber all the time in their projects. Because much
of our lumber is imported, sometimes 20 percent of our loads are comprised of “short” lumber. This is lumber that consumers in Europe wouldn’t think twice before purchasing, but we still can’t sell it as normal lumber because the American market is so accustomed to longer sizes. However, we are not in the business of wasting expensive merchandise, so we have made these short boards available for you for your projects.
Again, these boards are not defective in any way. They share the same quality as standard lumber; they just happen to be a few feet shorter. Most Americans think that the average length of lumber is 10 to 12 feet, and most of our short lumber averages a little over seven feet, meaning it’s not even that much shorter than standard-length lumber. Because Americans expect long lumber, there is often a surplus of available short lumber for your projects. So if your project does not necessarily need 10 to 12 foot boards, consider using short lumber. There is no reason to spend the extra money on long boards if you will have to cut them down to size anyway.
What kind of wood is available?
Whether or not short lumber is available from a certain type of tree depends entirely on the tree. Consider Genuine Mahogany. Because of over logging in the 18th century, it isn’t easy to find big trees to make long boards. Smaller trees means shorter lengths, and this, in turn, means more savings for you. About 20% of a load of Genuine Mahogany is considered short. Other trees, though, such as Sapele and Utile, grow much larger in size and therefore have far fewer short boards for us to sell.
We understand that for some projects, long boards are necessary, and there is nothing we can do about that. But for other projects, there’s plenty of leeway in terms of what length boards you need. You could even consider doing a mixture of both lengths. Also consider short boards’ potential for benches, tables, chairs, bars, outdoor kitchens, docks, walkways, and stairs. The possibilities are endless! Considering short boards for your next project means saving a significant amount of money while still using the highest quality lumber available.
Another great point about these short boards are that they are green! For one, using short boards means that there’s less wasted wood. Not only that, but by buying these short boards, you’re supporting the selective logging process that is used to harvest mature trees, thereby encouraging the use of sustainable products. Buying lumber from a company like McIlvain, a company that practices selective logging, means that only mature trees were harvested to make way for smaller trees to grow in their place. This sustainable way of harvesting trees makes sure that the forests will survive into the future.
If you’re interested in learning more about lumber for your next project, visit McIlvain’s website today. Whether you’re interested in helping the environment, saving money, or both, McIlvain can help you sort through your options and choose the best type of wood for your needs. With over 200 years of experience in the lumber importing and wholesale industry, there’s no one better qualified to help you than McIlvain.
From the J. Gibson McIlvain blog: