Kansas contractor feeling relief as lumber prices fall

Now at their lowest levels, the high prices have affected everything from new home construction, to remodeling, and even your homeowner's insurance.
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 11:14 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - As the price of lumber falls, Kansas contractors, like Brent Lawrenz, of BML Construction, are finally starting to feel the relief.

Lawrenz said the last couple of years have been tough as he endured the high cost of materials.

“Especially smart siding has been hard to get the past couple of years. And then it got really high, the cost of getting it,” said Lawrenz who is framing a home in the Freestone neighborhood in east Wichita.

Those high costs have also had a ripple effect on him and his business.

“It would’ve crushed the market. Stuff would’ve stopped. There was no way that people could continue to pay that much money,” said Lawrenz.

Higher interest rates are slowing the housing market, meaning less demand for lumber, driving down prices.

Lawrenz said it’s been hard trying to estimate costs for customers. He hopes things will begin to level out.

“It’s hard to tell a homeowner, ‘hey, your lumber might be $20,000 higher than what we say it is right now.’ Hopefully, it gets back to where it needs to be and levels out,” Lawrenz said.

The higher prices have also affected homeowners’ insurance. The cost of building an average home increased by almost $40,000 when lumber prices reached their peak.