Lumber shortage putting strain on building industry – CBC
Contractors say they're postponing major wood deck and fence installations until next year, because a shortage of pressure-treated lumber has been making it tough – and expensive – to source materials over the past few months. It's a trend that's being felt across the country. The COVID-19 pandemic sparked peoples' interest in projects around the house, said Copp, but also temporarily shut down lumber mills. …a 1x6x6 fence board used to cost $3.26. Now, lumber yards charge as much as $5 or more for the same piece of wood. Ovsenek said he actually feels uncomfortable selling new jobs, with 50 to 75-per cent increases in the price of lumber… he's focusing his efforts on providing estimates and converting potential customers to alternative materials, such as PVC and vinyl. READ MORE...
Commentary: There is a growing concern about escalating construction costs—driven by rising input prices, particularly for lumber—and supply shortages, which have already begun to impact residential construction costs and timelines, and unchecked, will exacerbate housing affordability and could undermine economic recovery. Some builders are considering pulling lots off the market because they cannot confidently price construction or be certain they can meet key building milestones and, as per the CBC article, some renovators are pushing work to 2021.
In Lethbridge, like across the country, it is become increasing difficult to secure lumber supply. The shortage is also affecting lumber prices. It has been reported that OSB has risen to $32 from what was $7.50 a few months ago. 2x6 has risen from $0.65 to $1.10. The current shortage and subsequent price increases are a result of a combination of factors, including early 2020 forecast for low demand before the pandemic, the impact of COVID-19, transportation issues, and much stronger summer demand than anticipated.
CHBA has engaged the federal government, offering some RECOMMENDATIONS to address and offset these costs, and further reached out Wood Council of Canada, the Forest Products Association of Canada, Western Retail Lumber Association, Fenestration Canada, and NAIMA to discuss ongoing concerns.