## What is dimensional lumber?

Most of us have heard this term before but what does it actually mean? Dimensional lumber is a type of wood that has been cut to specific sizes and is used in construction projects. A 2 x 4 (two by four) is the most recognized dimensional lumber. It is used for framing, flooring, roofing, siding, and other construction projects.

## What are the actual dimensional lumber sizes?

Let’s use a 2 x 4 as an example. You would assume that it is 2 inches by 4 inches and commonly 8 feet long. This stick of wood is actually 1 1/2 inch by 3 1/2 inch!! That’s right! So here is how it works…

Check the chart included here…You can get the drift. This is important to note! As you are measuring and building you need to keep these actual dimensions in your calculations.

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Consider the construction of a wall in your home. Dimensional lumber sizes are critical in getting your DIY project right.

It includes framing often made from dimensional lumber. A 2 x 4 with drywall on each side. Using the actual size of the dimensional wood:

5/8 inch drywall + 1 1/2 inch wood framing + 5/8 inch drywall = 5 1/2 inch system