Lumber Quality Grading

Economy is the lowest grade available. This is usually junk wood, dunnage taken off of railcars, and pencil stock. You can get a lot of twist, wane, and huge loose knots with economy grade lumber.

Utility is the next grade up in quality from economy. The discerning consumer can usually find a few useful pieces of lumber at this grade. One of the functions in large commercial lumberyards is buying utility grade lumber in bulk and upgrading it to ˜stud’

Stud grade, as implied by the name, is the most common grade used to build the framework of houses. Thus, the electronic device used to find lumber under drywall in a house is called a stud finder. Since the primary purpose of stud grade lumber is to hold up a house, very little twist is allowed, although you can have large amounts of wane and large knots.

A similar grade to stud is standard and better. The difference between the two is not so much in the size of the knots or the amount of splits or wane allowed, but in the fact that standard and better grade is used for lumber that is 12 feet and longer while the stud grade is used for 10 feet and 8 feet pieces in grading.

The next grade up in quality from stud and standard and better is 2 and better. This grade usually allows for smaller-sized knots and a minimum of wane and splits.”

If the company you are comparing True Built Home to does not list the “type” of lumber grade that will be built into your home, do you think it’s the best or cheapest grade available?

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