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All Lumber mills are subject to GRADE RULES written by seven accredited organizations. These organizations create grade rules and provide lumber inspection and supervision services. They were established in the early part of the 20th century to help ensure an equal playing field in the purchase and distribution of lumber throughout the United States. Think of it like this: all lumber products receive a grade similar to a student in school ranging from A-F with A being the best quality lumber and F being the lowest. However, within each grade there is a wide discrepancy of quality that allows for minor defects. In fact, a grade book describing the allowances and exclusions is as big as a bible and is often used by lumber companies to justify the quality of their products so as not to have to take back lumber they have sold.

Lumber Out West only sells lumber products purchased from a few select mills that have the highest standards in the industry. There are no surprises when it comes to the quality of the lumber. We will NOT sell any inferior lumber products that have flooded the marketplace by mills seeking to make a quick buck.


Photo of U Grade Cedar Siding

Be wary of products called: “U-grade”, “downgrade”, “#3common”, “customer select”, “rustic grade” or “discounted”. What this really means is you are purchasing a cast-off product for a discounted price. In the end you will have to purchase 30% more than needed to cover the same surface area. So much for savings! And, the price for this “discounted” wood is not actually a savings at all, but the market price for inferior, downgraded wood.


Photo of Downgrade Cedar Siding

Downgraded wood will not weather well when installed as siding. Tongue & groove, as well as lap siding, is designed to be weather resistant by overlapping between boards. When this overlapping is breeched (due to chips, dings & loose knots) the siding is no longer resistant to leaks. Loose knots tend to fall out over time and allow water to seep in and insects to invade, causing damages much more expensive than the original savings.


Photo of Downgrade Cedar Siding Installation

Finally, downgraded lumber is very labor-intensive & time consuming to install. With downgrade wood you must spend a lot of time trying to “make it work” by bending, wedging, cutting filling missing knots and gaps with wood putty. Bad sections that are not repairable have to be cut out entirely leaving many joints that are closely spaced. The time to install downgraded siding is about 50% more than usual. What will your contractor’s bill be for a 150 hour installation when it would normally only take 100 hours with a quality wood product.

Lumber Out West will NOT sell inferior products. Our reputation depends on us only providing the best available products in the lumber industry.


Call us @ 775-386-8132 or email us at for a custom quote today!

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