Most DIYers suffered severe sticker shock at lumber prices during the pandemic. Here are six tips to help you find affordable lumber.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone from DIYers to construction pros grappled with the unexpected skyrocketing price of lumber. Average lumber prices rose about 600 percent between April 2020 and May 2021.
A perfect storm of bad luck and poor timing created this problem. Demand in 2020 far outpaced supply as home-bound homeowners chose to make home improvements while historically low mortgage rates drove new home construction. With mills and lumber yards shut down early in the pandemic, the industry struggled to keep up with these demands.
Throw in a surge in the mountain pine beetle population that resulted in the loss of enough lumber to build more than 9 million homes, and it’s no wonder prices spiked!
Luckily, the lumber market recently settled down. Wholesale lumber prices have fallen steadily since their May 2021 peak, finally returning to their traditional range. But that price correction hasn’t yet hit retail customers. And with uncertainty over the Delta variant on the horizon, it’s impossible to predict how the market will go.
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