Soaring wood prices shock renovators: “It’s ridiculous”

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As the construction season kicks off, those looking to renovate this spring and summer might be stunned by the price of lumber.

“It was a great shock to find it would be even more this year,” said Andra McLachlan.

She is in her second year of home and backyard renovations and is kicking herself not to finish it all sooner.

“Oh, this is ridiculous. Previously, a 2 × 4 amount cost $ 3.50; now they are $ 9.80. A sheet of OSB plywood cost $ 12 two years ago; now it’s $ 56 per sheet, ”said entrepreneur Johnny Borkristl.

Borkristl owns Calgary-based Hawkeye Designs and completes McLachlan renovations.

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Lumber industry and home building materials are experiencing drastic price increases, shortages

According to Statistics Canada’s Industrial Product Price Index (IPPI), this is the fourth consecutive monthly increase in softwood lumber.

Year-over-year lumber increased 118.9 percent – the largest year-over-year increase for this product since the series began in 1956. », Indicates the IPPI.


Softwood lumber (January 2018 to March 2021). Source: Statistics Canada.


Statistics Canada

“Now we don’t get that many offers. This time last year we had booked until August, but this year we are only booking two weeks because 95% of guests are not spending the money, ”said Borkristl.

While many people renovate and build in Canada, it’s demand from the United States and the booming housing market that is driving prices up, says Brad Hoover, CFO of Lumber Logic.

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“Demand has exceeded supply 10 times,” Hoover said.

“A 2 × 4 load costs $ 100,000 right now and you won’t get it for three to four months… Last year around this time the truck load was worth $ 35,000 and you got it in half. at three weeks, ”he added.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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