Lumber prices double due to pandemic supply issues

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The pandemic has caused supply chain issues for nearly every industry in the country; from delays in production to transportation, many deliveries are behind schedule. It’s something the lumber industry has dealt with for months.

“Back in April we started to see some of our loads were getting delayed….it was taking about five weeks to get here when it usually takes two,” Scott’s Lumber General Manager Kelly Vis said.

The months-long strain on the lumber supply still has no end in sight.

“Right now it’s getting worse. We have a lot of supplies of lumber sitting at factories that we can’t get transportation for it,” Vis said.  

Scott’s Lumber General Manager Kelly Vis says log supply and production is also adding to the problem. It’s why he’s now buying lumber from at least eight new suppliers, going wherever he can to fill his contracted orders.

“So far we haven’t had any crews waiting for lumber we haven’t been able to get,” A+ Construction owner Brad Mair said. “Price is more the problem right now than the supply.”

Sioux Falls home builders like Brad Mair say local lumber yards have done a great job of finding the supply, but nationwide, prices are skyrocketing.

“Price on just your normal lumber has jumped around 55 percent but the panel goods like your OSB and plywood that has more than doubled in price,” Vis said.

That increase is just over the past roughly eight weeks. On a $300,000 house, Scott’s Lumber estimates that could mean an increase of up to $15,000 for materials.

“Most of the lumber yards are honoring what you lock in a house at, unfortunately now those houses that don’t have final pricing yet, those are the ones that will get the biggest sticker shock here when they see the materials item is going to be more than they thought,” Mair said.

But industry experts say don’t let the increased cost of lumber hold you back from building.

“With interest rates where they are right now it’s still a really good time to build a house,” Vis said.

Vis says right now the stacks of plywood used by homebuilders are the hardest products to find. Homebuilders are not just dealing with lumber shortages, things like interior doors, door knobs and cabinets are also experiencing delays.

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