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If you’re buying lumber as part of your home improvement project, the first choice you make is in three different ways by which to purchase it: the piece, inch, or square foot. Prices will vary depending on which measurement you decide to buy it in.

Lumber is cut into specific sizes and sold at a set price, also known as a piece. It’s the most common way to sell lumber, and most home improvement stores and lumber stock companies will have it priced this way. However, some companies also sell lumber by the inch, which means they can cut a longer piece of lumber into smaller inch pieces, especially if a homeowner needs a specific size of lumber for a project. The sizes usually range between six to 60 inches. Finally they can be sold by the square foot, meaning if a homeowner needs the lumber in thicker or thinner pieces, it will cost them more or less, respectively. All of these will range anywhere from $3 per inch to $7 per square foot.

After deciding on exactly which type of measurement you need of lumber, your home improvement choices will go to what kind of lumber you will need. Lumber comes in almost any kind of wood: oak, maple, walnut, pine, etc. Depending on what you plan to build with this lumber and the kind of forces it needs to endure, you may need higher or lower quality wood. Synthetic wood will cost you less and can endure all right, though they cannot hold up against everything will likely need touch-ups a lot down the road. This can include composites like vinyl, laminates, and aluminum, which are often used in fences or on window framing. Hardwoods are good, real wood that will cost more but endure just about everything, which is why so many people lay it in their homes or for windows cabinets. Caring for them will include putting on finishing and cleaning them to make sure they stay in good condition. Also, there’s the chance they can buckle, expand or contract, since the wood is alive.

Make sure you speak with a lumber professional, either at the home improvement store or a contractor who specializes in wood products. They will be able to recommend the best for the area and climate. That way, you will be able to save on maintenance down the line from external conditions and get what you need and want for your home.

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