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Calculating cost of timber

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Manny

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Although I've worked as a joiner in the past my experience of purchasing and calculating the cost of hardwood is almost zero.
I'm based in S. London and have had prices from SLH for cu ft. or as sawn to my cut list (which seems an expensive option when compared to their online price list). I don't have space to hold stocks of timber so I'm having to buy for each job as and when.

How do you other guys, who do this for a living, estimate timber costs for jobs? Do you add a percentage to cover wastage and if so what percentage? Do you have any other tips for purchasing timber and any recommendations for suppliers in or near London.

Thanks
 

johnelliott

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In the past I used to purchase hardwoods from Moss and Co in Hammersmith. They specialise in American hardwoods such as white ash, white oak, cherry, walnut etc. I used to stick with american hardwoods because they are generall sold square edged, so much less wastage than uk timber, also the trees are bigger so the planks are longer, generally 10-12' which also helps lower wastage.
I used to design my work so as to minimise wastage by using up the narower pieces. I think the average wastage factor is 30%, but I always did somewhat better than that.
Moss have discounts at 5 cu ft and 20 cu ft. I used to buy 20 cu ft at a time. Best you pick it out yourself, though.
Travis Perkins also do pretty good deals on US timber
Are you sure you are charging enough for your work? When I was doing hardwood kitchens the cost of the timber was only a very small part of the overall pricing thing
John
 

Chris Knight

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Moss is pretty expensive. Pridays were better but have just shut up shop. I reckon one of the best for folk in the south east is Wests (they will deliver to your area) , good selection and last time I bought from them, very reasonable prices. They can offer a good range of milling services as required.

http://www.wlwest.co.uk/home/index.asp
 
A

Anonymous

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Manny

Only advice I can give is to ask about price breaks. I usually find them at 3 cu ft, 6 cu ft and 10 cu ft.
When I recently bought Ash and Mahogany I saved about 45% over the 1 cu ft price by ordering 6 cu ft
 
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