According to a report from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Washington, D.C., not only is new home construction taking a hit because of high lumber prices, but remodeling projects are starting to feel the same pressure.
“Homeowners have had an opportunity while sheltering in place to examine their homes and identify key areas in need of repair,” the report stated. “But many have been apprehensive to tackle these projects because of the uncertain costs and availability of project materials.”
Contractors mention that lumber pricing is always part of the discussion with potential customers so they know how it may impact their project’s cost.
Fortune mentions that this is a supply and demand issue. With lumber supply falling due to COVID-19 restrictions at sawmills, and more people spending an increasing amount of time at home, home renovations and DIY projects have increased the demand for lumber. Because demand is higher than the supply, prices are increasing—up 188% since the onset of the pandemic. Other materials needed for remodeling projects are facing similar supply-and-demand issues.
“We’ve been saving for quite a while to finish our basement and finally reached the point a few weeks ago that we felt comfortable to do it,” said Jaime Patterson, a homeowner in Pennsylvania. “We had anticipated $35,000 to $40,000 to finish and furnish our basement. We were told that, with the price of lumber going up so much, we were looking at $35,000 to $40,000 just to finish it.”
For many homeowners, according to the report, remodeling projects are being stalled for the immediate future at least—if they ever get started at all.