Lumber Price Trends
We’ve been pretty quiet about lumber prices, but it’s time to start examining why lumber prices are now at all-time highs. Family Handyman reports that government officials are on the problem, which if historical government efficiency is to be our hope, don’t hold your breath.
Last year saw high demand as homeowners and hobbyists occupied their lockdown time by doing home improvement projects while sawmills were shut down and lumber inventories quickly dwindled.
Clearly, the CO VID – 19 “pan de mic” has created an environment of underperforming production and high demand. Sawmill shutdowns seem to be the bottleneck as furloughed workers are slow to return.
Basic Lumber Prices
Our projects require only basic dimensional lumber and sheeting. These have always been quite affordable with an eight-foot 2 x 4 stud costing from $1.50 to $3.00. Today, construction studs can run nearly FIVE times what they cost a few short years ago. The industry is reporting increases of over 193%!
Sheet stock like OSB (Oriented Strand Board), the most basic of materials, used to be $8 to 10$ per 1/2″ sheet. OSB has now soared to over $50 a sheet!
I won’t even touch on hardwood bar molding, which has also increased, but oddly enough not as bad as construction lumber and sheet stock materials.
Job Recovery Factors
It seems everything that was once produced in ample supply is now in short supply and while politicians promise more jobs and rapid recovery, we are still seeing prices rise. Leaders need to hire more help, and the current job numbers don’t support a rapid recovery.
The economic fact is that this may lead to shortfalls in other areas, including home building and yes, even home bar construction projects.
Where are Lumber Prices Headed?
One online prognosticator seems to have an explanation for these high prices and an answer to where it’s headed.
A Brighter Outlook?
While some are predicting long-term doom and gloom, others are predicting only short-term high prices. Bloomberg analysts seem to think lumber prices will be dropping in the near future, quite possibly by the end of the year 2021. We can only hope.
What Are The Alternatives?
High lumber prices are for NEW lumber, but if you are resourceful, you can find repurposed lumber at places like the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store. Used pallets are also a free resource…if you are lucky enough to find them.
As the world becomes more like a Mad Max movie, we must become more resourceful in recycling resources. I think a Mad Max Bar Theme would be the growing trend of 2021. Corrugate steel, Barnwood, and old automotive trim from the junkyard may become popular home bar decor materials.
Our plans access membership is only $29.95 and gives you two full years of site support and download access. Add two more years at any time in the future for only $9.95, anytime. Hopefully, the lumber price crisis is over well before then.
Let us know how you are dealing with the lumber shortage in the comments below.