The huge runup in lumber pricing in the spring has gotten the attention of homeowners, builders, and subcontractors, and most equate these cost increases as the main cost of housing. While it is important, lumber pricing is not the main driver of home prices. Don’t be fooled by assuming that new home prices are coming down anytime soon.
Have you ever set out to do some home repair, maintenance, or project, and you have one of the oops moments when you did something that created more work? It happens all the time, and the huge Big Box home retailers earn millions of dollars when homeowners make mistakes on one project that causes another project.
Summer is the time of year that many decks, porches, and docks are restored or built because it is time to enjoy barbecues and the great outdoors. A mistake a lot of consumers and even builders make is they just order treated lumber without understanding there are many different types. Ordering the wrong treated lumber for an application can result in premature failures which are costly due to the material and labor costs.
Builders, subcontractors, and consumers have heard a lot about the high prices and shortages in lumber and sheathings, and while those are huge issues, many areas of the building material supply chain are in shambles also creating substantial delays and much higher pricing. All should be cautioned that delays and higher prices are throughout construction projects and there are no short-term fixes or easy solutions.
I am asked daily, “when will building material prices come down and the housing market get back to normal?” My answer is not well received, but I try to be straightforward when I say, “I don’t see how the housing and supply issues resolve quickly because housing demand is overwhelming a broken supply chain that does not have the capacity, and the last few years of America pulling back on global trade deals are starting to create real supply problems.”