Different ways to buy wood and timber.

how to buy wood

There are a number of ways that's you can buy wood and timber, but as always, the first thing we recommend you to do, is fully understand which timber, will be best for your project and end requirements.

You will need to research whether a hardwood or softwood would the most suitable and then look at the workability and durability of the timber. To find out full details on all commonly available timbers, we recommend you browse the wood database.

Once you have decided on the timber you need, the next stage is to decide on how and where you going to buy the timber.

The most traditional way to buy timber is from a large DIY store, like B&Q or Wicks. This is a perfectly normal method, but you may be limited in what timbers you can buy and there could be restrictions on the sizes available.

Other options to buy timber include, buying wood online, buying wood from a timber merchant and buying wood from your local joinery company.

Below we highlight the pros and cons of buying wood from different sources.

Buy Wood Online.
buy wood online

Buying timber online is easier than you think. There are a few specialist sites, like this one, that allows instant pricing for multiple timber options.

One key advantage of buying online is that you can see instant prices for any sizes, width or thickness.

You can build a cutting list of all the timbers you require and see a total price with delivery times.

Make sure you buy from a trusted source, look for reviews, a live chat and regularly updated content, this way you know you are buying from a trusted source.


  • A full range of timbers available
  • Can be cut to your exact sizes
  • Instant pricing
  • Clear Delivery times and costs
  • No minimum order price of quality
  • Planed timber options


  • Delivery time and prices can vary
  • Payment in advance is required
Buying Wood from a DIY store.
buy wood from a diy store

The most common place for first time timber buyers to look for wood is a DIY store such as B&Q. The only problem is this is you may be restricted on to range of timbers and the sizes available.

If you are not sure on what is available its always worth having a visit, then you will fully know the limitations and availability. It's also a good way to understand timber prices.


  • Usually stocked with standard size timber boards
  • A good way to understand how timber is priced
  • An easy way to view timber


  • Limitations on timber range
  • Fixed size and thickness only
  • Normally collection only for small orders
  • Staff may not have the knowledge to advise on timbers
Buy wood from a timber merchant.
Buy wood from a timber merchant

Buying from a timber merchant can be a good idea if you require large quantities, but normally they do not like selling to the public, they would rather deal with the trade.

Some timber merchants have limited ranges of timbers but large qualities of what they have in stock. Its best to contact them first to see of you need a trade account.


  • A wide selection of timbers
  • Long Length lengths available
  • Large quantities of timber on offer
  • Standard sawn board sizes readily available


  • Browsing access could be restricted to the general public
  • You may need to have a trade account
  • Prices will be sown ex-vat so pricing can be complicated
  • There could be a minimum order quantity and value
  • You may have to collect the timber yourself
Buy wood from your local joinery firm.
Buy wood from your local joinery firm

Contacting a carpenter or joiner at your local joinery firm could be a good idea if you are not fully confident. They can help and offer advice

Joinery companies can be very busy places, and not always gear up for the public, and therefore its always best to make an appointment rather than just turning up to ask for a quote.

They typically buy wood for the use in manufacturing specific items and therefore don't always sell the raw material directly. They have also had to buy it from a merchant so prices tend be a slightly higher.


  • You will get expert advice
  • Buying local is always good (although the timber will not be local)
  • You can ask questions to a pro.


  • Very unlikely to have timber in stock
  • Normally focus on full jobs rather than supply only
  • Lead times can be longer
  • They may only offer very local delivery

Summary of the different ways to buy wood:

There are many ways you can buy wood, hopefully we have highlighted the main methods and the pros and cons of each one. Ultimately the best method is the one that is most convenient to you.

Don't be scared of buying wood online, often you will get the best selection and the best prices.

Measuring is easy and if you have any questions most online timber selling websites are run buy industry experts, well, that's how we started, feel free to ask any questions.

Buy Wood Online:

If you would like to buy wood online, you can view our sawn wood section or planed wood section. Alternatively, here are some links to our best selling timbers:

Ash Wood Beech Wood Oak Wood Beech Wood
Ash (American White) Beech (European) Oak - Prime S/E (Euro) buy beech wood
Black Walnut Timber Cedar Wood Douglas Fir Wood Yellow Pine Wood
walnut wood cedar wood Douglas Fir timber Yellow Pine Wood

Useful Links and Further Reading:
Buy Planed All Round Timber
Buy Sawn Timber Boards
How to plane rough sawn timber
How To Measure Sawn Timber and PSE
What is the difference between PSE and PAR?

Published: 07/01/2023

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