Construction Companies Feeling Stumped Over Lumber Supply Issues

Construction companies have been using lumber for centuries, and there are good reasons why this natural material is still so essential to our work. For one thing, lumber is strong and durable, able to withstand a great deal of weight and exposure to the elements. It is also relatively easy to work with, making it a good choice for construction projects that need to be completed quickly. In addition, lumber is an excellent insulator, helping to keep structures warm in the winter and cool in the summer. As a result, it is little wonder that lumber remains such a popular choice for construction companies all over the world.

While lumber continues to be a much sought after building material, the prices for lumber leave much to be desired. The effects of the Covid-19 global pandemic on the lumber industry are still being felt. In the past, lumber prices never increased more than 10% in a month until the pandemic in 2020. Lumber costs jumped by 20% during the pandemic and have been fluctuating by extreme degrees since then. 

Prices also were impacted by some sawmill closures in March and April of 2020. Along with this problem comes the fact that a boom in construction demand is in full swing. The pandemic was not able to stop the needs of growing companies nationwide.

So with all of these factors, what are construction companies doing to deal with these intense issues? These price fluctuations are at unprecedented rates so many construction firms are ordering extra large lumber stock and storing it while prices have lowered so they can be prepared for future project needs.  As has been highlighted in the last two years, nothing is guaranteed in the supply chain realm so companies are forced to strategize now as never before. Paula Cino, vice president of construction, development and land use policy at NMHC states, “The takeaway is that there’s still uncertainty in the space, because we know that what our members can’t do is go to an alternative,” Cino said. “…I think most observers would say that they’re just continuing to expect the unexpected. And that’s been the only consistency — that the uncertainty and volatility is probably something that is going to stick with us at least for the end of the year.”

While the future prices of our nation’s lumber supply is uncertain at this point in time, construction firms like RFW Construction Group remain positive about the future of construction. We remain optimistic and will always continue to look for ways to expand and grow while in the face of unprecedented times.

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Photo credit: – Mark Stebnicki