Lumber Prices Causing Construction Costs to Balloon

stack of lumber signifying rising prices

COVID has caused a variety of unintended consequences, one of which being a rise in construction costs, especially lumber. The National Association of Home Builders recently reported that lumber prices in particular have gone up by more than 130% since April of 2020. This is a huge increase for any project and it has caused construction costs as a whole to balloon as well.

Why are Lumber Prices Rising So Fast?

There are a number of reasons why lumber prices continue to rise, a few of which include:

  • Job losses in the lumber industry – When the pandemic first hit the lumber industry saw a pretty significant decline due to initial drops in home construction. This resulted in a slow on production as well as layoffs throughout the industry. 
  • Rebound hasn’t been as quick as many would have liked – Even as construction has picked back up in many parts of the country, especially here in the Triangle, lumber suppliers have not been able to keep up. They’ve struggled to rehire individuals who were laid off early on in the pandemic which has impacted how fast they could get back to their pre-pandemic production levels.
  • Tariffs – If there was a drop in production domestically you would expect other countries to pick up the slack. This has not been the case due to tariffs. There is currently a 20% tariff on softwood lumber from Canada, which accounts for roughly a third of the US supply according to an economist from the National Association of Home Builders.

How Prince & Sons is Adapting to Rising Costs & Supply Shortages

At Prince & Sons, we’ve always been completely transparent with our clients about all things, including rises in supply costs. To help offset some of the uncertainty surrounding rising costs, we’ve started to procure all materials for a job prior to starting work to ensure that we can control costs as much as possible. This obviously doesn’t affect any changes that are made during the job, but it does give us a better idea of our costs and also allows us to be in a better position should the building industry experience further shortages.

If you’re interested in talking with our team about a home renovation project, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today. You can always fill out our online intake form to tell us a little bit about your project or you can give us a call at 919-383-0888. We look forward to learning more about your renovation needs.

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