The Price of Lumber

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SoddenJack

Senior Member
Apr 19, 2020
389
1,126
West Texas
I0C680723-1982-49E7-AE07-17EF43C09682.jpeg685D9DD2-DCA6-43D9-8ED3-C2655C6955B2.jpegI stopped at Lowe’s the other day for a few items. I couldn’t believe the cost of lumber. Nearly $10 for and 8’ 2x4, and $15 for an 8’ 2x6. I’ve heard on news about the increased cost of building supplies, but it’s a different seeing and feeling the sticker shock in person. Thankfully I don’t have any major building/home improvement projects in the near future.
 

fireground_piper

Preferred Member
Jan 30, 2020
520
1,633
New Jersey
Yep, I picked up a handful of 2x4 a few weeks ago doing some renovation to the bathroom and thought the sign was on the wrong bin. It's about a 100% increase since when I bought some a year or so ago, maybe a bit more.

My tile went up almost $2 per square foot from when I purchased my first half and then the second half a few days later.
 

Sweet Home Alabama

Preferred Member
Mar 2, 2021
1,915
7,193
Alabama USA
I needed to replace a deck board for the house I was selling last year. There was one at the Home Depot, but it was not convenient to haul. While I was at this one I called the one more near me. That other one was completely out. So, this isn’t a recent phenomenon .
 

SoddenJack

Senior Member
Apr 19, 2020
389
1,126
West Texas
I needed to replace a deck board for the house I was selling last year. There was one at the Home Depot, but it was not convenient to haul. While I was at this one I called the one more near me. That other one was completely out. So, this isn’t a recent phenomenon .
Lack of supply hasn’t really been an issue near me. Even at the height of Corona I could walk into any hardware store and get what I needed thankfully. This is the first time I noticed the cost increase, though it’s probably been a few months since I’ve needed to purchase any lumber .
 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
13,866
18,215
SoCal
jrs457.wixsite.com
From what I've been reading, the cost of wood has been escalating at the mill level. Logs are cheap. Demand plummeted during the 2008 financial collapse resulting in some mills closing. Demand remained lower, so milling output remained reduced. Demand has been increasing since last year and remaining mills can't keep up with demand. They're reluctant to invest in expensive equipment for fear that the demand will suddenly decrease, leaving them vulnerable. So you have reduced capacity and an opportunity to exploit that at the milling level. Bend over and enjoy it.
 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
35,658
35,414
The happy scenario would be if the house repair boom flattened as the pandemic fades and the building materials corrected to lower prices, but I can see that taking a long long time, or not happening. There could be another rise in demand with all the shopping malls and store fronts and office space being renovated as residences. Right now in the Southeast U.S. we're awaiting the return of gasoline with the pipeline ransom hacking. The shortage is supposed to be relieved later this week, or that's the happy talk.
 

alaskanpiper

Preferred Member
May 23, 2019
7,345
21,620
Alaska
I couldn't imagine building a house right now. Just renovating my bathroom irritated me with the prices.
Fortunately for us, the majority of our materials, as well as contractor pricing, was purchased back in 2020 when we signed the contract. If we get out of it only 17K over, that will be a small victory, as most homes that started building in 2020 are averaging 36K over right now.

It's not great, but what are we going to do? Stop building the house? With mortgage interest rates as low as they are right now, and real estate in such a remarkably sellers market, we will more than make up for the overages with the sale of our old home and the rock bottom interest rate on our new mortgage.