Sourcing Your Materials Locally

Sourcing Your Materials Locally

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

The economic problems of the last few years have been hard on small businesses. These same problems have plagued big box companies too, but small ones don’t have the resources for backup plans that the big stores do. For this reason, many people have chosen to start shopping with their local vendors. What they have found is that most products, such as cedar wood cladding, are higher quality, because they are made with pride and craftsmanship that is absent with mass production. Green grocers and butchers who provide local goods usually have fresher products that are not tainted with GMOs, growth hormones, and antibiotics.

Local Milling


Local products such as wood cladding are often better when sourced locally, because they have been milled and cured to the specifications of your area. Timber that is cured at the wrong moisture content level will ruin your project. If the timber was dried too much, and your area has a higher humidity, the timber will expand once the build is complete. This can create cupping, bulging, and breaks at the seams.

Wood that is not dried enough for your area will shrink to balance with the ambient humidity. If you finish your build before this happens, your project will fall apart and split.

With cedar wood cladding, you are counting on the product to protect your structure from the elements and from pests. The wrong moisture content levels will cause the cladding to warp and split.

Any timber you purchase should be left out to acclimatize before you work with it. Locally sourced materials will acclimatize more quickly, resulting in less downtime on the job site.


Some construction companies place their orders with big box companies because they think local suppliers won’t be able to meet their order. Keep in mind, though, that if you have to wait longer for the shipment to come in, and for it to e ready for use, you could have ordered the same amount locally in the same amount of time. Shorter curing times can make a big difference.

Where Are The Sources?


Sometimes, finding local sources for wood cladding can be a problem. The first step is, of course, to check the internet. Most smaller businessmen have learned to establish a presence on the internet in order to build brand recognition. You may have to scroll down the page on the browser, because the big companies will have the first few spots tied up with their advertising tactics.

Next, check with more traditional advertising venues. The radio, newspapers, and professional and hobbyist publications will often have standing ads from local suppliers.

Finally, ask people. Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to find local vendors of quality products. Once you find a vendor, you can work out delivery and supply questions. Most of the can supply whatever you need regardless of the size of the job, if they have enough advance notice. Sourcing your materials locally just makes sense.

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