High lumber prices could make your summer projects more expensive

SPOKANE, Wash. — According to the National Association of Home Builders, lumber prices have increased 200% since last April. More people are staying home, working on home improvement projects, and manufactures can’t keep up with the demand.

“Prices have skyrocketed all over,” said Stace Heston who owns Miller’s Hardware.

He used to charge around $3 for a piece of plywood. Now, it’s over $10 at his store. He says it’s not just wood experiencing a price hike; metals, PVC pipes and hardware supplies in general are all more expensive because of the shutdowns.

“When businesses were deemed nonessential last year, many manufacturers had to shut down their operation, and as such, they are now trying to catch up,” Heston said.

The shortage is affecting home owners and home buyers alike. Tracy Parshall just sold her home because she wanted to downsize, but now, her and her husband can’t find a new place to call home.

“We found out that building a house was between $120, on the very low end, to $180 a square foot, so we’re like holy cow,” Parshall said.

Then, they tried to purchase a mobile home, but manufactures were booked out 10 to 14 months, and they weren’t selling the models.

Parshall now plans to stay on family’s property in an RV until the market calms down, and the building prices are more manageable.

“We’re just going to camp for a year, I guess,” she said.

Nathan McNickle was shopping for an automotive part today at Miller’s. He’s feeling the price hikes, too.

“The work’s still there; stuff still needs fixed. It makes it more difficult to get equipment,” McNickle said. “I don’t necessarily like it or enjoy what’s going on.”

Heston says if you can’t wait to get started on your shed, garden bed or treehouse this summer, you should try and make sure to know exactly how much material you’re going to need. This will help you not overspend. Also, he says re-using old materials you already have around will also go a long way in saving money with the current heightened prices.