Lumber Mills

Small-scale lumber mills are experiencing a widespread resurgence as affordable milling technology develops and the clearcutting techniques of giant lumber companies become unsustainable. Portable mills can be brought to your site if you have sufficient trees; quite often, you can get milled lumber for your project in trade for additional lumber from your property that the operator can sell later. There is a good chance that you will find several small mill operators near your site. Prices from small operators are almost always lower than from building supply yards, and you can question the operator about his or her harvesting techniques if you are concerned about sustainable forestry.

Lumber quality can vary greatly, depending on the operator. In areas where grade-stamped lumber is required for construction, the operator can hire an independent lumber inspector to approve and stamp your wood. In general, small operators take pride in the quality of their lumber and mill better wood than do larger companies. Be sure that lumber purchased this way is dry enough to use before you start construction; otherwise it may shrink, warp, mold, and twist once you have it in place.

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