How High Lumber Prices Have Affected the Cost of Home Renovations

June 14, 2021 8:17 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Home renovation prices are high at the moment, and have been throughout most of the last year due to surges in the prices of lumber and other building materials.

To give you an idea of how much more expensive most renovation projects are costing these days, as of May, average lumber costs were 377 percent higher than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. These prices have been drastically inflated due to lumber shortages.

Background on the lumber shortage

Lumber producers expected there to be a significantly lower demand once the pandemic struck, and thus produced much less lumber than they normally would. But in fact, the demand for lumber actually increased, meaning there has been a significantly lower supply coupled with a greater-than-usual demand, resulting in the price surge that’s made it difficult for hobbyists and home improvement contractors to get jobs done at reasonable prices.

The increased demand was due to more people staying at home and deciding that, since they were stuck there anyway, they would use the time to make improvements to their homes that they’d been putting off. Lumber producers simply were not prepared for this phenomenon.

It’s expected that the shortage will only get worse before it gets better. It may take some time for the market to settle down and get back to the same pricing level as before the pandemic.

Effect on renovation costs

Homeowners who got estimates from contractors or builders might find that the quotes they received in 2020 (or even early this year) are no longer accurate due to the significant increase in material prices. Even week by week, the cost of materials could balloon significantly.

The larger the project in scope, the wilder the price swings are likely to be due to the greater number of materials used.

As a result, many homeowners have had to decide just how high a priority their remodeling project is. Do they go for it now, knowing they’re going to pay a premium for materials, or do they wait until the supply catches up with the demand and they’re able to more easily afford it?

You could be waiting a while for those prices to level out. There are some industry experts who believe lumber prices could remain at these high levels until the end of 2022, which means you could be waiting another year and a half or more to get started with a project you have in mind.

Every homeowner and every job are different—only you are able to determine how time-sensitive your project is, and how you balance the priority of the job versus the cost you can expect to pay.

If you do decide to go forward now with your renovation job, it’s not just high lumber prices that will affect your renovation. You should also be aware that there will likely be delays with lumber and other materials that could push back your timeline.

For more information about taking on remodeling jobs during a lumber shortage, contact Metro Contractors Inc. with your questions.

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