Stuart Kemp, MD of online timber merchant Timbersource, explains how to get the right balance between a timber that's right for the job and one that can be sourced relatively easily for the client.
The timber shortages have been well documented in the news over the past weeks and months with a multitude of factors including international order levels and driver shortages causing big issues for many in the industry.
Thankfully Timbersource was well positioned to deal with the supply issues thanks to our hard-working team and strong industry contacts, but the shortages got us thinking, what timber is actually sourceable at the moment and can it be used for projects in the UK and further afield?
To answer the question, we took a look at our stock management system to analyse previous and future orders and future requests and the lead times on the different timbers we are currently supplying.
American Ash emerged as the easiest to source timber with the lowest lead times with Sapele the fifth easiest to source timber in terms of lead times. We are finding that other species are still accessible but the lead times are longer, making it a challenge for merchants to meet the demands of builders
Other timbers proving quicker to source include European Oak, Poplar Tulipwood and American White Ash. The driver shortages and global supply challenges in the industry mean many are having to be more resourceful when it comes to the types of timber they are using for their projects, and the data from Timbersource suggests switcing to species like American White Ash and Walnut could lead to better progress on projects.
Finding the right timber for your projects is essential, it is important to remember that different species are good for different projects and specifications.
The results come amidst a huge increase in the demand for timber with findings from Google Trends showing two large spikes in the searches for ‘Timber’ in the UK and worldwide in 2020 and 2021.
Searches for 'timber' are up 60% in 2021 when compared to 2019 and the previous years with a steady increase in line with the increased overall search volume on Google and two spikes since the pandemic has hit.
It's a fun time to be in the industry. The different lead times on different timbers mean we have to be resourceful, but the internal research we have run has proved really useful when it comes to getting the right timber species for the right projects.
It will be interesting to see what the next few months holds but we are well positioned to source timber for our clients and are looking forward to the next stages of our growth."
If you want to find out more about the best timber for your projects then get in touch with a member of our team, we will be happy to help when it comes to questions on timber species and applications.