Can rough-sawn lumber be used for construction?

Sometimes code officials are asked by landowners to approve rough-sawn (unsurfaced) lumber. This is a challenge since the code requires all lumber used in structures to be graded and stamped, something typically done at the mill after the lumber is surfaced. Since the surfacing (planing) of lumber can reveal defects that may affect the grade and which may go undetected in rough-sawn lumber, grading should be done by a qualified grading or inspection agency. The IRC and IBC permit a certificate of inspection from a qualified grading or inspection agency in lieu of grade stamps, but the certificate should contain clear information about the agency and the lumber being graded. Unique identifying marks should be applied to the lumber by the grading or inspection agency representative at the time of grading, or another positive identification method used. The marks or identifying method should be described in the certificate of inspection. The code official should not hesitate to require details of whatever identification method is used, and should inspect accordingly.