Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Mr. Plywood = Mr. Awesome Portland Lumber Guy
When I was 16 years old I started working in a furniture factory. For three years, my job was to stand in a non-insulated, non-cooled, non-heated, metal building and sort lumber by grade. Let me tell you, that kind of indoctrination into the working world tends to create lifelong friendships and it certainly did in this case. We sweat together, we froze together, we wrote notes on the scraps, and then sent them down the belt and then laughed till we peed our pants.
Little did I know, at the time, it was “training” that I would use many many years later but in a nutshell; I know a good board from a crappy one. This hasn’t exactly led to any high paying gigs and if you look long enough at a piece of wood I’m sure you can too; but if you’re picking out an entire house worth of lumber from a stack at the local big-box-lumber-store, being able to grade lumber quickly and easily can be a handy skill. (and dare I say, not one their employees likely posses)
Loading the siding was easy!
Or, you can buy from a lumber and building supply store like Mr. Plywood who takes the guesswork out of the process and, frankly, the process out of the process!
Mr. Plywood has been around longer than I have!
Buying local just makes sense. Putting your hard earned money back into the pockets of your neighbors is good for the local economy and the stability of a neighborhood at large. When a store, or restaurant sees you as a neighbor (and likely someone that they’ll run into at the local grocery store) a shift happens in the way you are treated. They do. Actually. Care. The transaction becomes much more personal. They’re vested in how you feel.
Unloading, by hand, was a different story.
I live in Oregon so moldy and wet wood is a pretty big issue. Recently, my friends fought with an entire load of OSB that was moldy within a few days of adding it to their tiny house. When I mean “fought” I mean taking advanced measures at abating the mold and attempting to get their money back from the big-box-store to no avail. Ugh. They swore to never return to the orange vested option and instead chose to buy their lumber for their next tiny house where I got my lumber from; you guessed it, at Mr. Plywood.
Like me, they placed their order and within a few days it was sorted, pulled, stacked, bound, covered, and ready for pick up. They had theirs delivered, I picked mine up. But the overall experience was the same. It was Awesome! They even loaded it onto my trailer with a forklift and I was out of there in less than 15 minutes. Try THAT anywhere else!?
Painting siding flat is so much easier than painting it once its hung!
No grading lumber.
No stacking and standing in line.
We LOVE Mr. Plywood! (Who wouldn't!?)
I just watched them do the thing they do so well, and drank coffee.
I bet you’re wondering how much more their lumber costs than the blue-box store, aren’t you?
How can the little local guys, compete?
Lumber is a commodity. What the stores pay for their lumber changes, very often, and is set by the trading market. Only the lumber type and grade dictates the price differential. So the big stores pay for the cheapest grades and types knowing their customers may not likely know, or care. They just want a 2x4, right?
Stacked, dry, and ready for the build to start.
When it comes to my tiny house, its stability, and my time; I certainly CARE! And, the difference in price at Mr. Plywood is minimal but the service level and lumber grade is so much better! When I am building a tiny house, I would rather be working on it with my precious weekend time than standing in line.
I, however, was anything but dry that day.
Actually, I would rather be doing anything, ever; than standing in line and loading my own lumber.
Framing is my favorite part of the build.
There is something so rewarding about a job well done with high quality materials.