Download PDF version (261.8k) Log In or Register to view the full article as a PDF document.
by David Dobbs Len Guss, a lumber-industry market analyst who usually thinks about millions of board feet of lumber, recently found himself at a lumberyard looking for just a few good boards. “I needed a few 2x6s for pasture fencing for my horses,” recalls Guss. “But I had to cherry-pick through an entire unit just to get 8 or 10 boards that would hold their own weight.” For Guss, this hunt in twisted-board land merely confirmed what he already knew from his 40 years of work in the industry: “Lumber,” he says, “is quite definitely not what it used to be.” This isn’t news to builders, of course, who for over two decades have been compensating for declining lumber quality