Lumber prices up 360% due to COVID, manufacturers say

Connecticut

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — When the pandemic hit, household items like hand sanitizer and toilet paper became more expensive overnight. And in the last year, the same has become true of lumber.

Wood prices started going up and up, and then they doubled, and then they tripled and now they’re at 360% when they were just a year ago. They say COVID is to blame.

“They say, you know what, I think I will put that addition on our home because we are working from the house, and so all of these projects and all of these contractors you can’t even get a hold of today,” said Realtor Chris Grant of the Keller Williams Miale Team.

Grant says with the real estate boom, he’s not surprised the price of lumber has more than tripled in the last year, and well home prices continue to go up, new construction is even that much higher.

“All of a sudden over the past two years we have seen a 25% increase in the housing market. When you see that, guess what is going to follow, lumber, it has to.”

Not only has the price skyrocketed during COVID, but also demand. A lot of places don’t even have wood on the shelves or the type of wood needed. Contractors say it’s causing scheduling problems as well as supply and demand problems, on top of the already high prices.

“There is so much remodeling and things going on and people are refinishing. You go to the shelf for supplies, and there’s nothing there. It’s bare so we have to reach out to about 10 different distributors,” said Kent Robbins of Robbins Hardwood Flooring.

Robbins owns a hardwood flooring business. He says while the prices may be high, people are willing to pay it. Even so, there aren’t enough contractors to go around either.

“In a lot of cases they’re just happy to to get it done in a timeframe that is reasonable, I have friends that are painters and tradesmen, and they are scheduling literally well into the fall.”

Robbins says there aren’t enough hours in the day or wood on the shelf to meet the demand for hardwood floors in the home.

“Because of COVID, everybody is spending more time in their home and they desire nice things in their home, they want their home to be comfortable and cozy.”

If you would like to get some lumber for a project, best bet is always to call ahead to see what they have in stock. It may save you time from having to drive from spot to spot.

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