By Linda Sutter – March 11, 2021
A local contractor mentioned the price of lumber and other building materials had more than doubled. Last year one sheet of OSB , which is underlining chipboard for siding was $7.00 a sheet from Home Depot. Today that same sheet is $27.00.
One contractor who builds small 4 x 5 sheds spent $1,300 just for materials. How did we get here? Strong demand and short supply. Lumber comes from Canada, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Due to Covid 2020 the mills cut back in production and laid off people thinking the housing market was not going to happen, but it did happen. This caused a demand for product which caused a price increase.
Forrest Fires also played a part in increases as well. Hurricanes made the list and the industry could not get enough rail cars out west as well as having trouble with transportation and trucking. 2 x 4 white wood had it’s volatility early on which got behind in the cash market. Cash market went up and the futures went down then reversed. Will Lumber prices stay High? Now that Covid is here to stay things are much more unpredictable.
In order for the prices to come down, several things in the United States need to happen. Lumber production will need to increase to cover the lost of supply from Canada. Canadian Import duties will need to come down so that Canada can export more lumber to the United States. Shutdowns within the lumber industry will need to come to an end, and lumber producers will need to increase their production in order to bring costs down. This depends on Covid and when life returns to normal.
This has not currently affected the local contractors here as they are all very busy and continue to build, however; this cost get’s passed down to the consumer. Mortgages increase because the cost to build a home has increased.