Although the pandemic has spurred many home renovation projects, getting the supplies you need may be harder and it will cost you more.
1. The Home Improvement Craze
The pandemic-driven home renovation craze boosted demand in lumber. Suppliers struggled to keep up. Wood more than tripled in price since spring of 2020. The National Association of Home Builders says the average cost increase for a new single-family home is up more than $36,000 since this time last year.1
2. Supply Chain Delays
Many recently planned to update their floors with luxury plank vinyl flooring. They will just have to wait. “We are running into a lot of backorders,” says Elisabeth Stubbs Co-Owner Enhance Floors & More, “Imported products (particularly LVP) are often unavailable for 30 to 60 days.” According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, factory shutdowns due to shelter-in-place orders last spring led to shortages of products.
As these suppliers began to reopen, labor shortages still persisted, leading to delays in getting goods to where stores or homes. “Even made in USA products are on production delay,” says Stubbs. “Getting products delivered from the manufacturer or distributor to us is also taking much longer than in the past.”
3. Small Jobs Are Impacted Too
Even small jobs are experiencing delays and price hikes. “The skyrocketing lumber prices have largely affected my entire business,” says professional carpenter and founder of Tools’n’Goods, Sean Chapman, “It’s not only me but also fellow contractors, who can’t work on many of their projects because homeowners are apprehensive to order lumber for renovation projects and building new houses.”
Many homeowners have delayed small projects in hopes that prices will fall. Stubbs concurs. “Clients that had gotten quotes in the past that are now ready to proceed are often surprised by the prices having gone up,” she explains, “Some put a halt on the project because of the price increases.” If you want to pay the higher prices to get your project done asap, you will still have to wait. “Even those people who are willing to pay the triple price for lumber parts, often can’t get them due to supply shortages,” says Chapman.
What the Future Holds
Top economists say to expect lumber prices to remain volatile and shortages to continue with a leveling off in late 2021. It may be 2023 before it could return to pre-pandemic prices.3 In the meantime, it’s best to make a priority list and really think about what absolutely needs to be done in order to protect the integrity of your home.