A Formula In The Spreadsheet Should Always Start With Convert Lumber Pricing From Per Thousand to Per Piece

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Convert Lumber Pricing From Per Thousand to Per Piece

It used to drive me crazy trying to calculate the prices per thousand and convert them to each piece. It was tiring and after a while, just annoying. So I created a quick little spreadsheet in Excel that can calculate the answer for me and I have to use it at least a dozen times a day, if not more.

Now that I have found a good client, they keep asking me to translate prices for them so I decided to do two things. Put the interactive calculator on our website to do it yourself and write an article to help others who find themselves in the same boat.

So let’s give an example and then how to change it.

Needs a 2x4x8′ loaded truck. You call around and get a quote on the material. The best quote is $250/M for 20 packages (294 pieces per package). What is that about each piece? So how much is the whole load EXACTLY?!?

Here’s how to count each piece.

Step 1 – Find the board feet for each piece. (See my other article – “Board Feet? How to Calculate”)

Thickness X Width X Height / 144 (Be sure to change 8 feet to 96 inches (8×12))

2 X 4 X 96 / 144 = 5.33333

Step 2 – Take the value per thousand (or M) and divide it by 1000.

250 / 1000 = 0.25

Step 3 – Multiply the board feet in step 1 by the answer in step 2.

5.33333 X 0.25 = 1.33333

Your answer is $1.33 per piece (rounded down of course).

Okay, are you still with me? All right! Now how much is the truck in total? Well, there are two ways to go about this. You can take the long way or the short (more accurate) way. I will explain both.

Long way – This now takes 20 packets and multiplying by 294 pieces will give you 5880 pieces. Now take $1.33 and multiply by 5880 and you have your answer of $7820.40

OR

Short Cut – In the first step just include the number of packages and pieces in your calculation.

2 x 4 x 96 x20 x294 / 144 = 31,360 and multiply it by step 2 (0.25). You have your answer for $7840.00

NOW, will you notice that there is almost a $20 difference? That’s because in the first calculation we rounded down all those decimals to just two. That adds up to more than 5880 boards (for $19.60 to be exact!) So you definitely want to use a shortcut now that you know how.

So one last question. Why do lumber companies quote per thousand? Just because of the volume AND the sheer size. It is very easy to give one quote for 2x4x8, 2x4x10, 2x4x12, 2x4x16 for $250/M then you have to count all the different sizes and add them together or quote each size individually (there can be ten different sizes on a truck!). Also, if the truck is heavy and the package needs to go down, the lumber company will have to quote again when it was a pain to do it the first time!

There you have it. Hopefully this now gives you a clear understanding of how to calculate and convert each thousand to each piece. Oh, one last thing, if you’re really stuck and can’t figure out the math, visit our website and a free calculator can be found there!

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