Ipe supplier I like = BannerElk Trading

mark_gardenerSeptember 15, 2006

I've read many of the postings to this site about Ipe, but rarely have seen a supplier mentioned. I'm a newbie (i.e., this is my first posting) and I don't know if it is a no-no to mention suppliers who have given good service and good product at a good price. If it is a no-no, I apologize and ask people to stop reading here.

If, on the other hand, it is not a no-no to mention suppliers and if anyone is interested, I found an Ipe supplier with whom I am very pleased. It is BannerElk Trading out of Atlanta (877-909-8575). Our salesman was Bill.

We were preparing to build a 2,000+ sqft deck when our local lumber yard informed us they couldn't supply the Ipe we wanted (n.b., we were ordering 1" x 4" T&G kiln dried to 12%). We had about two weeks to find a replacement supplier.

A frantic search ensued (thank Heavens for the internet). Most suppliers did not have that amount of Ipe in that cut and dimension on hand. Those that did asked between $1.90 to $1.94 per linear foot (n.b., that included delivery).

I finally contacted Bill at BannerElk Trading and he was great though the initial moments of the conversation were unlike any I'd ever had. Bill asked if the Ipe was for an uncovered deck. I told him it was and ... get this ... he said he wouldn't sell me the wood because BannerElk didn't guarantee outdoor use !! (N.b., I finally agreed to sign a waiver.)

Once we got that settled, Bill helped me figure out the lengths we needed, recommended the drill jigs, and other hardware such as stainless steel screws we would need as well as the UV Inhibitor (i.e., Cabots) to apply after the deck was finished. He also sent me two PDF files with detailed installation instructions. Bill had the wood bundled and protected. He even recommended we allow him to find a point-to-point trucker to ship the order to us to reduce the possibility of damage from loading and unloading the wood at various terminals. The result was I don't think we lost a single board to damage. The final cost to me was about $1.87 per linear foot and that included all of the installation tools, hardware, and freight.

I was very appreciative for BannerElkÂs ability to respond on such short notice and for the care Bill took to help ensure the deck would be installed properly and that we would be happy with the results. Consequently, I encourage anyone looking for Ipe at least to give BannerElk a call (877-909-8575) and develop their own conclusions.

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demark

I've read many of the postings to this site about Ipe, but rarely have seen a supplier mentioned

Are we reading the same forum? It seems every thread about Ipe contains "Call George at East Teak" at least once.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 8:04AM
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semper_fi

"BannerElk didn't guarantee outdoor use !! (N.b., I finally agreed to sign a waiver.) "

LOL! That kinda arrogance is exactly what has turned off many people, including myself, with Banner Elk. Last time I checked ipe was still THE premier wood for outdoor use. That's like Toyota telling their customers to sign a waiver because they do NOT recommend their vehicles to be driven on roads because they COULD get wrecked!

Several years ago when they were at their previous location I had placed an order for #1 grade 5/4 ipe. When I went to pick up the order, there was NO WAY in heck that what they were trying to sell me was even close to premium ipe. In that instance, I ended up using East Teak and was extremely pleased with their service and quality of their product.

Last year I wanted to build a small "removable" pond deck so I made the mistake of giving Banner Elk another try. I figured since they are local, I could save time and money on shipping. As the saying goes: Fool me once, shame on you... Fool me twice, shame on me! I guess because I wasn't ordering a massive quantity, they were extremely unhelpful, arrogant, and rude. As a business owner, imho that's no way to treat a customer.

I ended up going to a local lumberyard and getting an AWESOME deal on the ipe that I needed. Glad you had a better experience after agreeing to sign a waiver.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 11:50AM
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deckman22

I have no comment on BannerElk Trading. Cool looking sitting area you have there @ your pond with the king & queen bench seat & chess board.

al

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 2:39PM
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semper_fi

"Semper Fi...I think you mis-construed Mark Gardener's initial posting."

Really?!?! Actually Geoffry, it's called paraphrasing:

"I finally contacted Bill at BannerElk Trading and he was great though the initial moments of the conversation were unlike any I'd ever had. Bill asked if the Ipe was for an uncovered deck. I told him it was and ... get this ... he said he wouldn't sell me the wood because BannerElk didn't guarantee outdoor use !! (N.b., I finally agreed to sign a waiver.)"

"Semper Fi--sounds like you've got some anger management issues or maybe Bannerelk didn't salute you when you walked through the door. "

LOL! Not any more than you sounding like a little lap dog protecting his master who throws him a bone now and again when you wrote: "they've helped me expand my business to offer only Ipe and they've sent tons of business my way." And no salutes are ever needed on this end.

This is NOT a bashing post. If you (or anyone else) have had a positive experience with them, then more power to you. There are usually 2 sides to every story. I'm just sharing my own personal experiences because I want any potential customers reading this forum to be treated with some simple common courtesy so they wouldn't have to have those "initial moments of conversations unlike any other".

If the aforementioned waiver is not just an unncessary silly hoop they want people to jump through before they can purchase outdoor lumber for outdoor use and is really intended to protect them against blood-sucking lawsuit-happy attorneys, then why don't other lumber suppliers force their potential customers to sign a similar waiver?!?!

___________________________________________________________________

Thanks Al! That little corner of the yard is a great place to unwind and ponder! :-)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 11:11PM
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john_hyatt

It could be you Guys are talking about two different things.

Ipe T&G inside flooring>> klin dried,milled to a very close fit, a skid pad milled on the bottom,installed to a jam fit,will come up to the moisture content of the adverage temp inside the house, sanded smooth so only a little line showes after the finish is put on. Ya know an inside wood floor.

Ipe T&G decking>> air dried,milled with more space between the T and the G, installed with a 1/16 '' gap defentley not a jam fit,a little 1/2'' slot cut in the T every 3' or so,can be sanded but of course the gap shows to allow for drainage,dosent really have to change moisture content all that much but will shrink a little in width, must have positive cross vintalation going on under the frame.

I would not recomend inside flooring as outside decking either,if the Wallet wanted it anyway I would put a disclaimer in the contract. John

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 8:55AM
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mgwfrench

Ipe prices fluctuate all over the place from one Ipe supplier to the next, and from week to week (you would think OPEC owns the rain forest). But here's a way to be assured that you are buying your Ipe at a VERY competitive price as well as high quality wood: There is a website that brings Ipe buyers and Ipe suppliers together (no its not a dating service)... sort of like lendingtree.com for hardwood. Email them your Ipe order (or any hardwood order for that matter) and they will post it online and email their national network of Ipe suppliers your solicitation. Within a couple of days you will receive all their bids. Pick the one you want, and you will know you are getting a very good deal. By the way, to be on their network of suppliers, they must sell only South American Ipe and it must be exclusively clear, all heart Ipe (the best). Contractors, home owners and architects are welcome. Enjoy! One catch. Because I am associated with this BUSINESS (horrors), I cannot advertise the name of this business or website here (which I am not going to do). So it is up to you to track it down. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 12:14AM
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