Thanks to effects of pandemic, demand for lumber and building materials unprecedented

In-Depth: Demand still prevalent despite surging lumber, material costs

Unless you work in the building trades, chances are you don’t typically keep a close eye on the prices of materials like lumber. However, for some home and fence builders and even do-it-yourself types, the past 12 months have provided a painful lesson in economics. Similar to last year, this building season has brought with it another surge in lumber prices, hitting an all-time high earlier this month.

According to the National Association of Homebuilders, lumber prices have increased by nearly 180% since the beginning of the pandemic and have added $24,000 to the average price of constructing a typical, single-family home. The impact of rising material prices isn’t just limited to home builders either.

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“Every supplier has increased their costs on us. Even buying sand and gravel and cement to make the concrete, all of those costs have also increased,”  “Right now the hardest thing is getting cedar 2x4s. They are simply unavailable right now. We had to discontinue new cedar fences because of it.”

Despite the surge in material costs, including the prices of vinyl and chain-link fences, the level of demand has been overwhelming, Tekesky said. Currently, American Fence Co. is booked solid through the month of August.

“We keep getting a lot of phone calls. There are a lot of people staying home so they need a fence for their kids and dogs because they are driving them crazy,”  “A lot of people have extra money because they aren’t going out to eat, not going out to events or traveling. They also got stimulus money so a lot of people are getting home improvements done.”

It appears that prices have not quelled demand.

“We had a handful of customers that signed up last year with the stipulation that the price would be revisited in the spring this year. If they weren’t acceptable to that [new price] we would refund their deposits,” Tekesky said. “Nobody has since turned us away because they know they aren’t going to get their fence installed any sooner or any less expensive.”

Post time: Oct-22-2021