All About: Selecting Timber By Video

Oct 22, 2020 | english hardwoods

Make a Timber Picking List & Select Your Boards By Video


The process of selecting timber is traditionally a hands-on experience, but with the country still reeling from the impact of Covid-19 we’ve sought new ways to supply timber. We’ve made adjustments to the way we work to help you keep you working and hopefully, to keep thriving.

Being confined to the workshop no longer means you can’t select timber by hand.

We can select, machine and deliver timber based on your cutting list as always,  but if that doesn’t suit you here’s how you can make a timber picking list without setting foot in the woodyard…

nick lewis on a timber selection video call with a customer viewing boards from a timber picking list

Discover how we helped Amy find the perfect timber for a garden room project:

Choosing The Right Timber

“I moved house just before lockdown started, and I wanted to take on a project to keep me busy while work was quiet. I decided to build a small wooden building in my garden so I’d have a quiet place to get on with work when everything gets up and running again. I’d never used English Woodlands Timber before, but you were recommended to me by a colleague, who said you were very friendly and knowledgeable, so I had a look on the website.

At first it was just like shopping online – there’s a massive stock list of thousands of boards and the search filter makes it easy to flip back and forth whilst trying out different board sizes or wood species. I really enjoyed making a timber picking list and learning about the wood as I went along. Reading the pages about timber cladding and flooring helped me to be able to start to narrow down the list to match what I needed.

Clicking on the products always took me through to more detailed information, with great pictures so I could get a closer look at the texture and colour of the timber, but as I hadn’t bought timber before I erred on the side of caution and put in some extra boards thinking maybe I could choose between them later. Finally I was ready to finish the picking list so I pressed GO and sent it off to the team with a message telling them why I was buying wood and asking for their advice – I’ve never done anything like this before, so I was a bit nervous about buying the wrong thing.”


Working With The Team

“An email came back the same day explaining the remote buying process. It told me to expect a phone call from one of the team. The next day Nick called me to check through my timber picking list and to set up a video appointment for the following week. Nick explained that because of Covid-19 customers are unable to visit in person unless they’re visiting the retail Timber Rack. My selected boards would be picked from stock laid out for viewing. At another time I might have been there in person but Nick said he would call me on Zoom or Whtsapp or Teams (it was up to me) instead. I live in Herefordshire so it would have been a long old drive so I was very happy there was an alternative way to buy the timber.

I was a bit nervous of the Whatsapp call because my technical wood knowledge is minimal but Nick was so friendly and easy to talk to. It was easy to ask questions and to answer his.

On the call Nick and team had laid the boards out ready to view. He showed me up and down every one of them, pointing out all the qualities, explaining why some would suit what I needed better than the others. I’d made a huge list but I didn’t have to buy them all, only what we agreed would work. Nick checked all the measurements against my list to make sure it matched what I needed to make. Every board was turned over so I saw them from all sides . He even marked them up with sizes and notations as we went along. He explained that the workshop would use the notes to cut the boards to size and so I’d know which was which when they were delivered… and all by video!”


Contactless Timber Delivery

“Two minutes after the video call I received the digital paperwork by email. I checked it and sent it back to Nick as requested. The boards were ready to go to the workshop to be machined so all I needed to do to complete the order process was choose a delivery option. I had the choice of contactless collection or delivery so I chose delivery. Not least of all because I’d picked way more timber than would fit in my van! After a final confirmation email I paid the invoice online too (everything was digital!) and it was done.

The timber arrived a week later and the process was very smooth – the delivery people were very careful about social distancing, which I appreciated and they unloaded the boards to a space in my garage I’d made clear in preparation. So I finally got stuck into my first largescale DIY woodworking project. It’s a work in progress but I’m so happy with the wood and service I received at English Woodlands Timber.

By the way, I ended up selecting Sweet Chestnut for the exterior timber cladding and Ash for the interior cladding on walls and the floor. It’s all Grown in Britain certified timber which I love (I learned all about it from Nick) and both species look absolutely beautiful. I’m so looking forward to having my own cosy little work space, built with my very own hands!”

Thanks to Amy for the story of her virtual woodyard experience. Needless to say it made Nick blush 🙂

What Amy’s talking about is our virtual timber buying process and ways our customers can buy timber from stock remotely.  She also mentioned The Timber Rack. This is our interior retail space packed to the gunwhales with waney-edge and square-edge boards of all shapes, sizes and species.  The Timber Rack is open to visitors during the week via our online booking system.

We’re working tirelessly to ensure we can meet your expectations without putting your safety and the safety of our team at risk.

Take a look through our online stock today, make a picking list, send us a cutting list or reach out for a chat with our team who will do their best to help find you the timber you’re looking for.



Tell us what you need and send us your cutting list

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Read all about Click & Collect

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