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Hello,
After working on it for about a year I finally received my business license in Belize. I am planning a permanent move to Belize later this year and having a house built. I was wondering if I would be able to purchase building materials and such at wholesale, or do the big lumber yards and hardware stores even offer wholesale pricing?  Any insight would be helpful.

Congratulations!  Try contacting the Belize Chamber of Commerce.

bwd61 - Don't know where you are located. We've had good dealings with Pine Lumber in Georgeville, Universal Hardware and Midwest Steel in SL.
Don't know about wholesale, but cash discounts and volume discounts can be negotiated.
Shop around with your list and see who can give you the best deal.

I'm in the Cayo so will be shopping a lot in SL. Thanks for the info.

bwd61 :

Hello,
After working on it for about a year I finally received my business license in Belize. I am planning a permanent move to Belize later this year and having a house built. I was wondering if I would be able to purchase building materials and such at wholesale, or do the big lumber yards and hardware stores even offer wholesale pricing?  Any insight would be helpful.

Outside of Spanish Lookout I know of no BIG hardware stores as we know them in the US.

I have no idea what part of the country you are looking to build in, but in the Placencia Stann Creek area, I recommend www.alconstructionbelize.com . Pricing on some items and quantities can sometimes be negotiated.

bwd61 :

I'm in the Cayo so will be shopping a lot in SL. Thanks for the info.

You may want to try Builders Hardware and Belmopan Aggregates, both in Belmopan. Builders is probably the biggest of all the hardware stores in Cayo. There's also Yalbac Saw Mill.

I've been to Builders and a couple in Spanish Lookout a few time but never inquiring about building materials. I'll be back in Belize in a couple months and will stop in a few places and talk to their managers. Thanks for all your input.

Builders hardware in Belmopan always gives discount for cash and often for volume, just bought sand and gravel got 10% discount and if had been needing a larger volume would have been 12.5%.

Another potential option you might consider, depending on how much property you have, is using the lumber on your property, or possibly trading uncut for cut, which is something I will be doing. Of course it is not exactly an even trade.

karenjoe :

Another potential option you might consider, depending on how much property you have, is using the lumber on your property, or possibly trading uncut for cut, which is something I will be doing. Of course it is not exactly an even trade.

That is a great idea for those with wooded acreage. Do the saw mills have the equipment to kiln dry, or pressure treat lumber?

My little 600 sqft Mennonite  house (450 steps to the beach) in Placencia Village was built in 2000. The structural members seem to be all hard woods of several types. All original wood is is full dimension. IE a 2by4 is actually a 2by4, something I had never seen before anywhere. It has weathered the storms and climate very well including Hurricane  Iris of 2001 that destroyed most of the wooden structures in my area. 

Last year  I replaced the original vertical posts with a concrete foundation and concrete posts. This year I replaced about 15 pieces of lower siding with pressure treated lumber, as there was evidence of some deterioration. The few 6x6 posts we bought were also pressure treated.  From conversations I have had, it does not seem that hard wood for structural members is readily available as it was in the past.

If I were building a new place today, I would use as much pressure treated lumber as I could afford and full concrete  for the base/bottom floor.

Some of the mills do kiln dry, but as far as I know, no one does pressure treating in BZ. My understanding is that the vast majority of pressure treated lumber available in BZ  is imported from my home state, AL, and I am sure from FL as well. The real problem in BZ is the destruction of the native pines in BZ years ago by a beetle infestation, which brings up another interest of mine, long-leaf pines.

I will be buying all my lumber instead of cutting it off my property. I've got ten acres that is heavily treed but I would rather not have to cut any down except for the ones where the house will be.
Thanks for all your suggestion, I will be back down in two months and will get in contact with the wood mills and hardware stores.

I understand in the early days the British over harvested lumber, both pine and hardwoods for export back to europe. They only stopped when the easy to get to woods ran out. It has only been in recent decades that replanting of this resource has taken place.

The couple that lives behind me has a large hardwoods tree farm over near Independence. They harvest and mill many hardwoods and import some as well. They make beautiful flooring, interior siding, paneling, etc. The inside of their home is a showcase of the products they turn out.  Last year they disappeared for over a month so when I finally saw the wife, I asked her where they had been, she said they had been planting  Mahogany trees.  As they are in their 60s I asked her how long before they could be harvested....replied about 20 years. It is part of what they do to renew for future generations.

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