Soaring lumber prices adding thousands in construction costs for homebuyers, business owners

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Since the start of the pandemic, lumber prices have soared nearly 250%, leaving businesses and consumers taking on the extra costs. One Miami Valley business owner said he’s feeling the burden of the increase in his shop.

“The price of lumber started going up, oh, 12 to 18 months ago pretty dramatically” said Mark Sams, owner of The Woodworking Shop in Miamisburg. “And then it was in the middle of 2020 that it really skyrocketed. Some of the products we’re buying are three times the cost that they were.”

Sams said he’s felt the sting of those higher prices on the raw materials that he purchases for his commercial projects. He said those jobs are typically based in the hotel industry, which has taken a hit due to COVID.

“The projections are that (the hotel industry) will come back quicker than we anticipated. But because of that, the product that we provide has slowed down,” he said. “And so we’re getting hit on two sides — one of the sides is the availability of raw materials to make the products, the other is just the clientele to purchase the product.”

He said a variety of economic factors play a role in the steep increase that he, and other business owners are facing, including issues with importing lumber, staffing shortages among domestic producers and a slowing of production due to COVID. And while he said that has a major impact on businesses that rely heavily on the availability of wood, he said the prices are being felt by everyday consumers as well. 

“When you go to Lowe’s to buy a 2 x 4, before you used to pay $3 for it. You pay $9 for it now. When you go to buy 7/16 OSB (wood for sheathing) that you used to pay $8 a sheet for, it’s $40 a sheet now. So even someone wanting to build a house, an addition on their house, a garage, a lean-to on the side of their barn — the cost of that has dramatically increased.”

According to the National Association of Homebuilders, rising lumber prices have added nearly $36,000 to the cost to construct a single family home. And while consumers and business owners are hoping those prices will soon start to drop, they could get worse before they get better. 

“Eventually it will settle down, it will not go back to where it was a few months ago.”

To view lumber futures, click here.

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