There’s a long list of things we’ve seen during this pandemic that many of us thought we would never see. New York was looking like a ghost town, people were stashing away toilet paper, and masks were on all the faces around you. The prices of lumber are on that list, and many experts and long-time veterans of this industry never expected what happened over the last 14 months.
Why are lumber prices so high?
We could point the finger at several factors that caused the lumber prices to skyrocket. As the country began to shut down, sawmills expected a housing slump; unfortunately, the opposite happened. So as people were sent home for quarantine, they spent more time in their homes and realized what improvements they wanted to make. More people wanted to take on DIY projects, and working from home made many homeowners want to create a better work environment for the foreseeable future. Rather than a housing slump, we ran into a lumber shortage. As demand started to rise and production was put on hold, the prices of lumber climbed higher than ever. Some lumber prices more than quintupled in the last 14 months. Sawmills have been struggling to catch back up even though production is at a 13 year high.
What other material prices are inflating?
While there was a focus on restaurants and office spaces getting shut down, almost every industry sent its people home to stay safe from the virus. Similar to lumber, many other materials hit a standstill in production during the COVID shutdown. This caused even more prices to rise and make it even harder for builders and contractors to get the supplies they needed for their projects. Things like plywood, copper piping, electrical wire, paint, and almost anything you might need to complete a home project raised the price of home building to a never before seen high.
What does this mean for your remodel?
Unfortunately, this all means that the cost of remodeling projects has gone up, and some home builders have had to raise their prices by over 150%. This is because materials are in short supply and the wait times for products are longer as manufacturers and sawmills try to catch up with the demand. This might mean you have to push that project off until prices go back down, or it might mean the project will be a more significant investment than was initially budgeted for.
Luckily, contractors like Creative Contracting are more than happy to assist you in navigating this unprecedented time in home improvement and can guide you in the right direction for what’s best for your home and your family.
Will lumber prices go down?
The short answer is yes. As production catches up and the country turns a corner during this pandemic and as everything goes back to “normal,” prices are already starting to settle back down. It’s also expected that prices should drop even more as we reach the cooler months and remodeling and home building projects slow down. Finally, as demand decreases and the production of these vital materials catches up, we’ll start seeing those prices drop. However, many experts speculate that the prices won’t reach “before COVID” lows, but they’ll be at more reasonable levels for everyone.
It’s been a bumpy and sometimes scary ride, but it seems we might be reaching a turn that brings us to somewhat “normal” circumstances once again. The prices of lumber are already beginning to lower back to affordable levels, and it might be the time to think about that project you’ve been putting off. If you’re ready to explore your options, you can contact us here, and we’ll be happy to help you through this confusing lumber crisis.