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WOOD: Availability of No.1 and Select Structural Grades

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Still more studied ignorance. What this guy doesn't know could fill the Library of Congress (well, come to think of it, it DOES!)

I was told some time ago by a contractor in response to my specifying "Select Structural" lumber that it was not available, would have to be special-ordered, would cost a fortune, etc. He claimed "we can only get No. 2 lumber, no better."

Since this was an ongoing project and I was called in to fix a "problem" (TRANS.: "contractor screw-up"), I thought later, after the fact, that this may have just been a leg-pull, that he was operating the job at a loss by that time and that he wasn't willing to spend a dime more than he had to.

I don't have any sources here in the Houston area that I can go to, so I'll cast my bread on the usual waters and ask here: What are the availability concerns for "better than No. 2" lumber? Of course, around these hyar parts we mos'ly use Southern Pine (for reasons of pride and politics) but I would be interested to know how this works for any species groups that you all typically use.

Thanks.

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