With all the changes in Myanmar government regulations, Teak is now more available than it’s been in a long time. At the same time, no one really knows when another logging ban or trade embargo will change that. If you’ve been following the lumber industry for any length of time, you realize that whenever this kind of change and limited opportunity comes up, new players get in on the action. Whether you’re a home builder or a yacht builder, you probably already realize that because of the inconsistencies of Plantation Teak, you want to make sure that what you’re getting is authentic Burmese Teak. But there’s also a little more to it than that, if you want to ensure that you’re getting the highest quality Teak possible for your application.
Communicate Clearly About Size
When it comes to sizing, Teak is kind of in a class of its own. While it’s not exactly sold like rough sawn lumber, it’s not an S4S dimensional product, either. Basically, it’s rough sawn, which means it has some variation in length and width; however, because it’s often sold in sizes relatively close to the finished product sizes, it is priced according to its thickness, length, and width, just like dimensional softwoods would be. If you’re thinking that this makes buying Teak pretty confusing, then you get the basic idea.
What you need to do to accommodate this issue is to clearly communicate with your supplier about the precise sizes you need, considering the dimensions of your anticipated project. The more specific you are when you ask for a quote, the more reliable the estimate will be. Of course, because of the price point of Teak, you want to be extremely vigilant about your overage. Every board foot counts! At the same time, you will need to purchase some overage in order to accommodate the reasonable variance that comes with lumber in general — and Teak in particular.
Carefully Consider (& Re-Consider) Quotes
If you give the same project specifications to more than one dealer and get vastly different price quotes, you need to ask more questions. Requesting lumber pricing, as we’ve discussed before, should always lead to questions — as long as you’re dealing with a lumber supplier that’s worth its salt (or saw dust, as the case may be).
If you get a quick quote that’s lower than others you’ve received, that’s almost never a good thing. Like lumber grading, lumber pricing is far from straightforward; it’s nuanced and can fluctuate quite a bit. But you’re not going to get premium Teak from one supplier for half the cost as other suppliers; if you pay far less, you can bet that you’ll be getting far less — in size, quality, or both. So whatever you do, do not simply jump at the lowest price. You need to make sure you know exactly what each dealer is selling for that price.
Continue reading with Part 2.