Lumber shortage sends home prices soaring

Published: May. 5, 2021 at 10:08 AM CDT
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DENVER (KUSA) – As if the pandemic hasn’t brought about enough issues, there’s now a lumber shortage and it’s affecting businesses big and small.

Joe Gebhardt, who owns Colorado Joe’s, a cornhole board building business, would know.

While he finishes up another wood project, he wonders if he’ll still be in business in a few months.

“It’s a little stressful, nerve-racking, knowing that when you talk to the guys in the industry and our suppliers, they don’t know when it’s going to come back online, so it’s just kind of up in the air,” Gebhardt said.

The country’s wood supply is in short supply and prices are skyrocketing while wood mills try to catch up.

“Back in February, March, we were getting inklings from our suppliers that the wood source could possibly kind of dry up and the prices were going to start going up,” he said.

Gebhardt is paying close to double the amount for his plywood, while some home builders are doing the same.

“If there’s a hiccup here and a hiccup there it creates a tidal wave over here,” said Rebekah DeLaMare with the Home Builders Association of Southwest Colorado.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, rising lumber prices have added nearly $36,000 to the average price of a new single-family home.

“Unfortunately, those prices do get passed down to the consumer and there’s not really any way you can spread that out through the rest of the industry,” DeLaMare added.

She estimates the surge in prices will likely last through the year and suggests considering alternative building materials that may be more affordable.

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