High prices due to lumber shortage putting pressure on lumber companies
(WDEF)- The covid-19 pandemic caused shortages in toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and now lumber.
This time last year a simple 2 x 4 would’ve been thought of as nothing special and just cost you a little over three dollars. Now it’s thought of as the Holy Grail and will cost you over seven.
Lumber prices have roughly tripled overall in the past year.
“It depends on what kind of lumber there are all kinds of grades and species,” said Hiwassee Builders Supply manager Charlie Clark.
Clark said this is due to the supply and demand surrounding lumber. When the pandemic hit it caused a bottleneck on the supply from the forest to the mill and in turn hurts the supply at lumberyards.
“So at the beginning of the Covid probably about 25% of available Canadian production went out of the market and a lot of them went down due to staffing issues,” said Clark.
“The most common items 2 x 4 8 foot there’s a lot of items that we are having trouble getting,” said Jason Babb with Babb Lumber Co.
Homebuilding and repairs are also on the rise, causing the higher demand creating the high prices we have today.
“The material got bit up greatly by the people who needed it such as homebuilders anybody in the supply chain was having to go in and out with their competitors for a short supply,” said Clark.
Both said such a high cost for lumber impacts their business.
“I hate to have to turn people away. The stress level is pretty high when you get all these calls and you’re trying to manage and meet the demand,” said Babb.
“It makes sourcing lumber extremely difficult. Or we could usually make one or two calls to get what we needed. We had to order early and had to go to maybe 10 different wholesalers in order to fulfill pressing needs,” said Clark.
Babb said having a sawmill on site has certainly been an advantage during this time.
“We can produce our own when we’re having trouble finding certain items,” said Babb.