I recently wrote about the daunting world of buying hardwoods and in that post I made a point of focusing on what your requirements might be. Today I’d like to start on the subject of pricing and I’m going to keep it concise because there’s just one useful equation that I’d like to mention; this is boring to read but may prove a handy reference.
If you’re buying a small amount of hand picked boards then the seller will be able to work out the exact prices for you but if they don’t know the specific boards you’ll be purchasing a seller will generally provide you with a price by the cube. In the UK timber is sold by the dimensions used at its origin so European timbers are priced by a cubic metre whilst American timbers are by the cubic foot etc.
To be able to compare your prices between one species or seller to another you’ll find it helpful to convert your quoted prices all to the same unit of measurement.
1 cubic metre = 35.315 cubic foot (rounded up)
If a company quotes a price of £30.00 per cubic foot then we can work out that this is the same as £1059.45 per cubic metre: 30 x 35.315 = £1059.45 per cubic metre
If your going from metric to imperial then you will just divide instead e.g £830.00 per cubic metre is the same as £23.50 per cubic foot: 830 divided by 35.315 = £23.50 per cubic foot
Another useful way to use this is if you want to convert the volume of timber and this works in a similar way; 12 cubic feet converts to 0.34 cubic metres: 12 divided by 35.315 = 0.34 cubic metres
This will probably seem rather simple and rather dull but I wanted to cover this before I go in to more details about how I estimate timber quantities and prices before we commit to an order.
If you haven’t yet read the other post on buying hardwoods then you can find it here.