Do any of your suppliers charge a shrinkage fee for your lumber? My suppliers add 15% to their lumber prices for shrinkage. It seems to me that if they are selling kiln dried lumber they should be giving me a discount. In this part of the country, Tennessee, it usually has a higher moisture content when it is delivered than when it leaves the kiln, so theoretically it should be a larger dimension rather than smaller. I would rather they just increase their prices for the lumber rather than increase it in this manner. Am I all wrong in my thinking on this?
From contributor R:
I do have one supplier that adds 20% to the actual lumber tally, so if I get 1,000 board feet I will get charged for 1,200 board fee. I don't agree with this practice because like you, I think that they should just add the 20% to the actual price per board foot, but I guess they think that they can sell a lot more lumber if they charge $3.00 per bf instead of 3.60 per bf.
It took me a couple of years to discover that this one supplier was doing this to me and the only reason that I found out is because I started to tally my lumber deliveries and complained about being shorted. So now I only use that supplier in case of emergency. My other three suppliers are very good about charging me for the exact board feet amount that I receive.
Not all suppliers are as honest as they are supposed to be. Some still try to pull the gross tally scheme and take advantage of unknowing buyers in any way they can. So it is always advisable to clearly state when you ask for a quote that you want net tally, if the quote is given verbally always re-confirm after receiving the quote that it is net tally so the salesman can't say he didn't know or didn't hear you.
If he gives a quote in writing it should specify net tally, if he is in your office add net tally wording to the quote while he is there. Any supplier still selling on gross tally should be looked upon as suspicious. How can you compare when one supplier add a secret 20% and another add a secret 15%. Net tally levels the field. Try to find a new supplier who sells on net tally, and don't forget to check the tally.
Basically, you must sell the footage you have. (It would be like buying gasoline and having to pay for spillage and evaporation, so one gallon would be actually less.) "Adding back" went to district court and was declared illegal, as well as being against the written law. Further, the NHLA is against such practice. Further, the wood shrinks about 6%, but some people will add 8%. The legitimate people will give you both numbers; this is so you can compare the legitimate folks with the others.
From the NHLA book "On July 21, 1977...” sales of hardwood lumber measured after kiln drying shall be quoted, invoiced, and delivered on the basis of net board footage, with no addition of footage for kiln drying shrinkage'." I would be very surprised is a large company like GP is adding anything, let alone 15%. Their legal department would be on top of such a practice and prevent it.
One additional thought, the term kiln dried has no specific meaning when used for hardwoods. Always specify the moisture content that you want. Note that the lack of moisture content specification in the rules means that moisture content is not a reason to return or reject lumber based on the NHLA Sales Code.