Framing Lumber-Best Grade to use??

reliabilitymanFebruary 29, 2008

I always thought #2 yellow pine was the best framing lumber to use in new house construction. One of my contractors says it is the worst because it warps too easy? Am I wrong, what else is common species and grade to use? I was always told to stay away from hemlock because it was too soft.??

Thanks for your input.

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#2 douglas fir is typically used here in the west and is required for structural unless engineered is used.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 3:27PM
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we used kiln dried #2 doug fir here in California.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 4:53PM
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Ron Natalie

Lumber species is heavily driven by where you are. A large component of the price is how far it has to be transported.
#2 is the custom. Spruce, fir, pine. Any of those, and in some cases an indeterminate mix. It's more important to make sure it is dry and straight.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 6:06PM
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We have three grades in use in my area. SPF (spruce-pine-fir) then Hem-fir, then Structural fir, which is the very best ($$$)
SPF is typical whitewood, quite high moisture content, and has knots you'd expect in framing lumber. hem-fir is a different species, reddish color (smells like pee). Structural fir has no large knots, and seems to me have lower moisture content.
I'm in northern Virginia.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2008 at 4:09PM
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Is the yellow pine the southern variety? If so, it is hard enough to be used for flooring and is commonly used for pressure treating. As framing lumber it will be stronger than most other softwoods and warping would be highly dependent on how much it is dried before sale. A contractor might not like it because the resin can gum up saws. I would think it would not be cost effective as framing lumber unless you were near a source.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 8:21AM
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Whatever the species, the grade should be no. 2 or better for framing.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 8:23AM
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