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WOOD: "Engineered Wood Costs"

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In conference with a local custom homebuilder today, going over some of my plans, he noted that I had called for LSLs (Laminated Strand Lumber) rafters on some long span (26 ft. plus) roof rafters. He asked if I could change them to doubled- or tripled-2x12s. I responded that my analysis showed sawn lumber wouldn't work in any rational configuration because of the long spans, and especially because of the effects of wind uplift.

He called his estimator and got him to give him the cost of that particular LSL size (1.5" x 11.25"). The guy responded that ONE SINGLE PIECE at that length was about $128!!!

Of course, the cost for a So. Pine sawn lumber 2x12 is about one-quarter of that. The builder told me "fix it, any way you can, I don't care how! I can't possibly sell this house like this!"

No disrespect to the builder, but I'm trying to design the plans his "building designer" (AIBD-type) gave him, and it is bizarre to me that the cost of engineered wood is that much greater!

I'd like some comments from "out there." What is your opinion of the per-foot cost of a like-dimension of sawn lumber vs. engineered wood? If the cost of the latter is so much greater, how in the world are they able to sell it?

Any info you might have would be welcome.

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