If you’ve read our first post on this topic, you understand why there’s currently an abundance of Teak ready and waiting for home builders and those in other industries — despite a shortage for boat builders. Not only is this situation favorable to you as a home builder, but it also poses an exciting potential benefit to the U.S. lumber industry in general.
How Considering Lesser-Grade Teak Benefits You
Let’s face it: not all Teak is above-grade FEQ material. As with other lumber species, no shipping container contains all top-grade boards. (And if we required that it did, we’d be waiting much longer for a full shipping container to make its way to our lumber yard!) Each container typically includes a certain percentage of B grade Teak; while this lesser-grade material is only marginally less expensive, it’s worth your consideration. You might be a tad disappointed to discover that buying lesser-grade Teak will only save you about 10%. But its benefits go beyond mere pricing.
Remember the issues facing Teak: simply getting it out of Myanmar and onto our shores is quite a feat. As sourcing Teak becomes more and more difficult, Teak of any grade becomes more valuable. From governmental regulations and hefty fees, the fact that Teak is here in our lumber yard makes it a prize wood. You don’t have to wait for it or wonder if or when it will get here; it’s already here.
How Considering Lesser-Grade Teak Benefits Others
From grade to size the U.S. lumber market is known for being rather particular — and unnecessarily so. As a result, we’re forced to turn away plenty of perfectly good material we know simply won’t sell in this market. Narrow ¾ and 4/4 Teak can be used for paneling and trim, but they’re rarely even brought to North America. However, if you take a minute to think it through, you’ll realize that not every application truly requires perfectly A-grade, wide, long boards. We would all do well to be more open minded, realizing that shorter, narrower, lesser-grade Teak is still valuable.
As home builders grow in their consideration of Teak for various exterior applications — including siding and decking, windows and doors — as well as interior ones, they’re realizing that more than the typical sizes can be valuable. As the demand for these smaller sizes and lesser grades increases, our ability to source more Teak will continue to expand. And everyone will stand to benefit, along with the environment.
As we’ve discussed previously, economics influence the health of our ecosystem. Whether we like it or not, it’s a fairy tale to think that not buying lumber will help preserve the environment; in fact, the more we buy exotic lumber, the more we’ll protect the rain forests.
Learn More About the Lumber Industry
• What You Need To Know About Installing an Ipe Deck
• Understanding Decking Lumber Movement & Spacing
J. Gibson McIlvain Company
As an active supporter of sustainable lumber practices, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company (mcilvain.com) is one of the largest U.S. importers of exotic woods and has provided fine lumber for notable projects throughout the world, including the White House, Capitol building, Supreme Court, and the Smithsonian museums. For more information on J. Gibson McIlvain’s lumber products and services, call Monday-Friday toll free (800) 638-9100 to speak with one of their representatives.
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