Gross or Net Tally

    When customers are shopping around for lumber, they will inevitably be comparing prices. When there are price differences from one distributor to another, one of the first questions is about gross or net tally.

     Gross tally is the quantity of green lumber that goes into a kiln for kiln drying.

Net tally is the volume of lumber that comes out of the kiln after drying.

So, what is the difference? Roughly 8%. Hardwood lumber will loose approximately 8% of its volume once it has been kiln dried.

     Some distributors sell KD lumber at the pre-drying volume, or gross tally. Most distributors will sell KD lumber at the post-drying volume, or net tally. When a customer gets pricing of lumber in a gross tally, the price will be lower, but they will receive 8% less actual quantity of lumber than they are billed for.

     On the other side, net tally lumber will be priced higher, and the actual volume received will be what is billed.

 For example, if I buy a lift of lumber that has 1,000 board feet for $1 a board foot and it is being sold at a gross tally, I will pay $1,000 pre-tax for the lift, but will only receive 920 board feet, making the actual board foot price $1.08 ($1,000 divided by 920 bdft).

Sold at a net tally, that same 1,000 board foot will cost $1.08, but I will receive an actual full 1,000 board feet and the whole lift will cost me $1,080 pre-tax.

     If you want the appearance of low-cost lumber, you can possibly buy lumber at a gross tally, but you won’t receive what you are billed for. Or you can purchase lumber at net tally and get what you pay for. At Craftsmen, we prefer to keep things simpler and above board (pardon the pun!), that’s why we sell our lumber in net tally and you will get what you pay for!

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Matt Mullen
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September 8, 2022
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