What the **** is Up With the Price of Lumber?

What is Up With the Price of Lumber

There’s Plenty of Blame for Lumber Prices Triple What They Were 9 Months Ago

If you’re in construction or even trying to tackle some DIY projects to improve your home, there’s no escaping that price of lumber is soaring. In some cases, we’re seeing prices 3 times higher than they were at the beginning of the year.

What’s up with that???

Factors Affecting the Price of Lumber

Supply and Demand

There are several factors in play and, chances are, you’ve heard at least one of them. Like so many other supply interruptions in 2020, the pandemic is part of the problem. Supplies are low, but demand is still high, resulting in higher prices that come from a simple supply/demand relationship.

Continued Construction Pace

As I’m writing this, 5 major developers are concurrently building out a 550+ acre community on the other side of the street from us. It’s massive and they don’t seem to be slowing down in the least—except when they run into these supply issues.

In fact, new home sales are at its highest pace since 2006 according to a National Association of Home Builders report from September 24, 2020.

Subscribe Youtube button

Pandemic Mill Interruptions

It’s certainly not that the mills are artificially slowing production to drive prices higher. Worker illness or temporary facility shutdowns due to the virus are at least partly to blame. As they are able to return to pre-Covid production levels or perhaps even ramp it up higher, we should see some relief.

Canadian Lumber Tariffs

Another piece of the puzzle is tariffs on Canadian lumber. Standing around 20% since 2017, it’s not a new thing. Tariffs on wood coming from our northern neighbors have been in place for decades, though it is currently higher than it has been in the past. There are some calls to lower or halt the tariffs to ease the cost increase, but it remains to be seen if they will be heard.

We Want to Hear From You!

Hopefully, we’ll see the lumber prices begin to drop as we shift into the fall and winter seasons, but it’s anyone’s guess what happens next spring.

How has the price of lumber affected your business or the construction of your home? Are you making any changes to the materials you’re using? Let us know in the comments!

Check out more PTR news and opinion here.

Related articles

Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

My tiny 120 sqft SheShop build started in July 2020 as some covid anxiety relief. I had expected the cost to come in between $4,000-5,000 completed. Once started couldn’t stop until it was done… in for a penny, in for a pound. The expenses totaled just over $8,000 at the end of the year. SheShop is now sealed and water tight but the inside is not at all finished. Whew. Money-wi$e I feel like I was stuffed into a sack, thrown over a limb and beat with a stick.

Perry gower

The part of this that really ticks me off is that the state of California has cut down millions of trees due to the bark beetle, but won’t allow the sawmills to buy and use them. They are mandated to get ground up for chips/sawdust or sold directly to cogen plants to be burned


Also add into the equation how much timber was burned in the recent wildfires in California….

Last edited 1 year ago by Gary
Paul Melanson

Well up here in Canada, the prices have also increased to a ridiculous level. It’s not because the lumber mills have cut back as some would like us to believe. They are all running full tilt 24/7. Days off are scarce, and overtime plenty. Still their yard are empty. The prefered stock is reserved for the USA. We get what’s left. Treated wood same story, with the exception that nothing is kept for us. Bottom line GREED, from the exporters, is the main reason. These companies are blaming Covid19…but that is false. The 20 % tarif that Trump forced on… Read more »

Mike Treen

I was told the unemployment stimulus killed us. My siding supplier has virtually no stock. My lumber yard I deal with (they are in three states) tell me their mill in Michigan normally has 3 miles of train cars in reserve, has no reserve.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x