Sioux Falls
Start every building project by selecting lumber from Schoeneman's!
Choose from Schoeneman's wide variety of lumber types!

How to Select Your Lumber

Let Schoeneman’s friendly staff lend a hand in your lumber selection process. No matter your project size, we can help you find a better grade of lumber for your dollar.

Lumberyard Services

Our lumberyard service cannot be beat, as we’ll even cut to your specifications and help you hand check each board to ensure highest quality. If you need help getting lumber to your site, we offer same day delivery!


The right lumber is essential in any project's success. Depending on your work, wood type and grade are likely the two most important details to pay attention to. Not sure what the differences are between wood types and grades? Follow our tips to ensure you obtain the best results.



Oak is an extremely strong construction material often used for decorative elements to provide a high-quality finish. It's also used for the structure of houses, kitchens, veneer on kitchen units, flooring, baseboards and architrave.

Poplar is fairly easy to work with, and relatively inexpensive. Poplar is white with some green or brown streaks. Due to its less attractive appearance, poplar is typically used where it won't be seen, such as drawers.

Birch comes in two varieties: yellow and white. Yellow birch is a pale yellow-to-white wood with reddish-brown tinge, and white birch more or less looks like maple. Birch is readily available and less expensive than many other hardwoods.

Walnut is a rich brown hardwood relatively easy to work with. It's often used to dress up projects, as it's a more expensive wood.

Maple is decorative hardwood with a light, attractive appearance and high resilience that is great for flooring, cabinets, stair parts and veneers.

Beech wood is a straight-grained hardwood with a fine, even texture often used for kitchen counters, floors (veneer) and decorative moldings such as quadrant and scotia.

Teak is a dark, hardwood sometimes used in carpentry to provide a high-quality finish, including staircases, garden and indoor furniture.

Mahogany is commonly associated with furniture rather than house construction.


Pine is a commonly used wood and is relatively easy to work as it's somewhat soft. Pine comes in several varieties, including Ponderosa, Sugar, White, and Yellow, and all of them can be used in rough and finish carpentry.

Western Red Cedar is used mainly for exterior applications such as paneling, shingles and decking as it can handle moist environments without rotting.

Cedar of Lebanon is another light-colored softwood used in rough and finish carpentry

Douglas Fir has a distinct reddish-brown tint and is commonly used in plywood. It's also used in construction, decking and flooring. It doesn't take stain well, so it's best to paint the finished product.

Hemlock is a light, non-resinous wood often used for doors, windows and framing

Hardwood Grades

Lumber is graded by the percentage of defects in a given length and width of hardwood boards. Grades are listed from highest to lowest and are provided by the National Hardwood Lumber Association.

Wood Grade






Miniumum Size

6" x 8'

4" x 6'

3" x 4'

3" x 4'

3" x 4'

Percent Clear







Softwood Grades

Softwoods are divided into two categories: dimensional lumber, with a grade based on strength, and appearance boards, which are typically used for woodworking projects. Grades are listed from highest to lowest. Grading systems may vary as several organizations play a role in rating softwoods.








Mostly clear
of defects

Almost clear
of defects,
small knots

Highest quality
with small knot appearances

Like 1 Common, but somewhat larger knots

Larger knots than 2 Common


furniture, shelving,
interior trim, cabinets, flooring

furniture, shelving,
interior trim, flooring

furniture, paneling, shelving,
general woodworking projects

paneling, shelving,
general woodworking projects
paneling, shelving, fences, boxes, crates

No matter your lumber needs, Schoeneman’s has the selection and the service to help you. Stop in today and we’ll lend a hand!

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