Lumber Prices! As Scary as They Seem?
Have you seen reports on the soaring prices of lumber? Are you seeing people freak out and say no one should be doing any work? That it is crazy? Gouging? I’ve seen plenty of alarmist comments and it’s both scary and frustrating!
I think that if you are concerned about lumber, there is no reason to be. Honestly, the market is so crazy in many instances, your contractor is probably eating more of the cost surges than you realize. Our team has been watching the lumber pricing (and all other markets for months.) If you have been following along with our social media, newsrooms, and newsletter we have been giving updates regularly about what’s happening, why, and what we are doing to manage everything.
So, what’s up with the lumber market?
Similarly to many other product supply chain systems, COVID shook things up over the last year and a half. Borders closed and higher tariffs were imposed, mills temporarily shut down, trucking slowed, natural disasters occurred, and rising demand. The “normal” process hit some bottle necks and is now in the process of righting itself. We are still experiencing a supply and demand imbalance. We also have an ongoing and growing labor shortage in the construction industry that has been taking place for years and is heighted by the pandemic.
What does this mean for me as a homeowner?
Many manufacturers and distributors have worked hard to try and ride out the price volatility on their end until they needed to raise prices to align with costs. Is this a forever spike? Only time will tell. A good sign we have been observing lately is some reduction in the future market.
Professional companies like Almar have a close relationship with our suppliers and we are staying in weekly contact with them. This is so we can be informed about what price changes are coming and we can place orders accordingly to get the best current prices.
When I asked our friends at Cape Cod Lumber how they are working with professionals to stay current on prices, here is what Chris Vaughan, Marketing & Communications Manager shared; “At CCL, we keep our customers informed of current market conditions with our Lumber & Panel Update. In this update, we provide our “House Package Price” index, which is based on what it would cost to frame a 2,500 sq. ft. home with an attached 2-car garage. The index includes framing and panels, and we provide a rolling 52-week history of the pricing. This helps show where the market was and where it is heading. We also include material lead times and other upcoming price changes for other products, such as windows and doors.”
As you can tell, we are all working to keep our clients the most informed we can possibly keep them.
What is my best option for getting the best price?
Many remodelers are shortening the length of time their quotes are good for because of this volatility in the market. Acting quickly and choosing a professional with a long track record of good vendor relationships is essential. You need to know that they are not going to disappear on you and trust they are working well with their subcontractors.
We have observed that homeowners tend to prefer the Cost+ pricing model for larger projects. In this model, they are charged based on the current pricing, which is similar to a time and materials project. This allows you to get the most current rates available. We highly encourage this if you are worried about rising pricing.
I know it is frustrating.
I know it is a frustrating time. Please note that the budget ranges you received one or two months ago may no longer apply. I know our team at Almar is working extremely hard to be as open with our homeowners as we can about what is happening and how prices seem to be a moving target right now. My best suggestion is to ask good questions and make sure you have an open line of communication with your team.
Once you choose a reliable and trustworthy professional remodeler to work with, you can feel confident that they will stay up-to-date with the latest industry developments and work diligently to offer you top-notch service.Please remember to give them some grace because not all answers are readily available, and things are still changing quickly even as our world seems to be getting back to the old normal.
Inquire with us today on our website or call us during our business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 AM-4 PM at 781-826-2577.