Big Box vs. The Little Guy

It’s time to buy some lumber for the printmakers media cabinet we’re building. As you know, I am a cheap ass frugal girl, so I went price hunting to find the best deal on lumber. I got quotes from our local lumber yard as well as the big box stores.

Home Depot Pricing

Who do you think came in the cheapest? The big box store with hundreds of locations all over North America or the smaller local business that’s been a staple of the community for years with a few locations?

IN THE ORANGE CORNER, THE BIGGEST OF THE BOXES, HOOOOOOME DEEEPOT

IN THE RED CORNER, THE UNDERDOG, DOOOOOOOWNTOWN LUUUUUUMBER

Place your bets folks.

Here are the items we priced*:

  • Pine 1x2x8 – Home Depot: $4.91 vs. Downtown Lumber: $3.52
  • Pine 1x3x8 – Home Depot: $6.77 vs. Downtown Lumber: $5.52
  • Pine 1x4x8 – Home Depot: $9.37 vs. Downtown Lumber: $6.32
  • Pine 1x8x8 – Home Depot: $19.97 vs. Downtown Lumber: $10.80

Downtown Lumber won ACROSS THE BOARD. Seriously! Furthermore, the 1×8’s from Downtown Lumber came in at almost HALF the price of Home Depot’s. This was not the outcome I was expecting. I figured HD had the big box buying power and was able to under price the competition. Not the case! The local business kicked the pants off home depot!

We love supporting local businesses, and I feel guilty for ever thinking of cheating on our lumber yard with big old Mr. Orange. I feel like I should be buying our lumber yard chocolates or flowers to get myself out of the doghouse…

If the weather holds, we’ll try to walk over to DL and buy all the rest of our needed lumber, and try to knock off a bit of work this long weekend. What are your plans for the weekend? Do they involve lots of chocolate? Mmmm….chocolate

 *note that downtown lumber actually prices per linear foot. For our comparison we multiplied the linear foot price by 8 to make an accurate comparison.

 

3 Responses

  1. Sarah
    I've found that my small local Home Hardware lumber yard not only has slightly cheaper prices but also better quality wood compared to Home Depot. And they're generally a whole lot friendlier and knowledgeable. :)
  2. Wow, that's amazing! I wish you'd posted this a few weeks ago. We just finished framing - would be interesting to see how DL compared to the yards we sourced our lumber from. When you're talking in terms of a whole house those kinds of differences can equal thousands in savings!
    • Exactly! A few bucks a board savings can lead to hundreds if not thousands when it comes to a whole house!

Leave a comment