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Buying Wood Online: Tips for Choosing Quality and Sustainable Sources

Tips & Guides
08 August 2023 min read

Buying Wood Online: Tips for Choosing Quality and Sustainable Sources

In the digital age, the convenience of online shopping has extended to every corner of our lives, including the world of woodworking. By the same token, buying wood online has become a popular choice for hobbyists and professionals. 

Still, despite wood being accessible on the net, buying online can make you feel uncertain, especially when it comes to ensuring the quality and sustainability of the wood.

At Woodshop Direct, we understand your challenges when buying online. This is why we place immense value on providing a comprehensive and user-friendly shopping experience. And an essential part of this experience is our customer-friendly return policy. 

Additionally, we know that sometimes what you receive might not be quite what you envisioned, or there may be issues during transit. In such cases, our return policy is designed to protect your interests and ensure satisfaction. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to familiarise yourself with our return policy before purchasing. This way, you can shop confidently, knowing we stand behind our products and are committed to ensuring your satisfaction with every piece of wood you order from Woodshop Direct.

Furthermore, this article aims to guide you through buying wood online, offering tips and insights to help you make informed choices.


Understanding Wood Quality

Grain, Colour, and Texture

The first step in choosing quality wood is understanding the characteristics that define it. The wood's grain, colour, and texture can significantly impact its appearance and performance. 

For instance, straight grain is often preferred for its uniformity, but wood with a more intricate grain pattern can add a unique aesthetic to your project. 

Similarly, a wood's colour and texture can greatly influence your piece's final look. At Woodshop Direct, we provide detailed descriptions and high-resolution images of our products to help you make an informed decision.


Hardwood vs Softwood

The choice between hardwood and softwood is another crucial factor. Hardwoods, derived from deciduous trees like oak and walnut, are typically denser and more durable, making them ideal for furniture and flooring. 

On the other hand, softwoods come from coniferous trees such as pine and cedar and are often used for framing and outdoor projects due to their lighter weight and resistance to decay. 

Moreover, understanding the properties of different types of wood can help you choose the right material for your project.


Ensuring Sustainability

Look for Certification

When buying wood online, it's essential to consider the environmental impact of your purchase.

One way to ensure sustainability is to seek certification from recognised organisations such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). 

These certifications guarantee that the wood has been sourced from responsibly managed forests. At Woodshop Direct, we are proud to offer a wide range of FSC and PEFC-certified products. We also partake in other sustainable practices.


Reclaimed Wood

Another sustainable option is reclaimed wood salvaged from old buildings, barns, and other structures. Not only does reclaimed wood help reduce deforestation, but it also offers a unique aesthetic and history that new wood can't match. However, it's important to ensure that the reclaimed wood has been properly treated to remove potential contaminants. It is best to find a reputable supplier of reclaimed wood rather than source this yourself.


Comparing Prices and Delivery Options

Understanding Pricing

When buying wood online, comparing prices is essential. However, remember that the cheapest option isn't always the best. The price of wood can vary based on factors such as quality, sustainability, and the cost of processing and delivery. 

It’s important to note that Woodshop Direct strives to offer competitive prices without compromising quality or sustainability.


Delivery Options

Consider the delivery options offered by your chosen wood supplier. Some suppliers may offer free delivery for large orders, while others may charge based on weight or distance. It's also important to check the delivery times, especially if you're working on a tight schedule. At Woodshop Direct, we offer a range of delivery options to suit your needs.


Customer Service and Support

Consider the level of customer service and support your wood supplier offers. A good supplier should be able to answer your questions, provide advice, and resolve any issues promptly and professionally. 

At Woodshop Direct, our team of experts is always on hand to provide guidance and support, ensuring a smooth and satisfying shopping experience.


Understanding Wood Cuts

When purchasing wood online, the way the wood is cut can influence the appearance and strength of your finished product. From plainsawn to quartersawn, riftsawn or live edge, each cut brings out different grain patterns and has varied levels of stability. So, ensure you understand the terminology to describe these cuts and consider their implications for your project. Or ask our experts on-hand at Woodshop Direct, no question is too simple!


Checking for Wood Defects

Although trusted online suppliers ensure their stock's quality, familiarising yourself with common wood defects is beneficial. This could range from knots and splits to cupping or bowing. With that said, knowing what to look out for will empower you to ask the right questions and ensure you get the best quality for your money.


Online Woodworking Communities

The rise of online shopping coincides with the growth of digital communities. 

Woodworking forums, blogs, and social media groups offer knowledge from experienced artisans worldwide. These can be invaluable resources for advice on buying wood online, from personal supplier recommendations (Woodshop Direct!) to tips on choosing the right type of wood for different projects.


Reading Reviews and Testimonials

Finally, before purchasing, take the time to read reviews and testimonials from previous customers. These can provide insights into the quality of the wood, the reliability of delivery, and the helpfulness of customer service. Moreover, they can also alert you to any potential issues other customers face, helping you make a more informed decision.


Woodshop Direct: We Know Wood Best

Buying wood online can be convenient and rewarding, provided you know what to look for. 

By understanding your supplier’s return policy, the wood’s quality, and delivery options, your online wood purchasing experience can be both satisfying and successful.

At Woodshop Direct, we are committed to providing high-quality, sustainable wood products and exceptional customer service.