Walk into any Lowe’s or Home Depot stores these days and there is a good chance you will be struck by what you don’t see – namely, merchandise. Although the shelves are displayed in a way to make them seem fuller than they actually are, an area where they cannot disguise a lack of merchandise is in their lumber departments.
What Happened to All the Wood?
The Perfect Storm. The shortage of lumber is not the fault of retailers, but is another victim of the Coronavirus pandemic. It started with President Trump’s 20% tariff in 2017 on Canadian softwood lumber, which raised prices. Then when COVID-19 hit our country, lumber mills and building supply producers, as well as their counterparts in other industries, reduced their operations as the economy went into hibernation. Shelter-in-place mandates redirected our time and resources spent on travel and dining out to improving our living spaces which added to the demand.
Increasing production at saw mills and factories to meet the lumber demands became much harder than slowing it down. Some workers contracted COVID-19; others were forced to quarantine, and measures to prevent the spread of the virus slowed down output.
The Impact. As logging companies reduced the number of trees harvested and lumber mills closed down, the existing supply of wood did not get pressure-treated. Pressure-treated lumber, used for decks and other outdoor structures, was the first to dry up. As with toilet paper, once shortages began hoarders gobbled up whatever was available. At one point the price of pressure-treated wood went up 250% and plywood went up by 130%.
What the Lumber Shortage Means for DIY Homeowners. With more demand than supply, the cost of lumber, if you can even find it, is high. New orders will be priced at time of delivery because of volatility. According to building association experts, if you can wait, wait because at some point this year there will be a market correction and prices will go down. When, however, is anyone’s guess.
Favorite DIY Projects in St. Petersburg during the Pandemic.
According to RE/MAX Metro realtor Estelia Mesimer, with concern about nursing homes people are doing more projects to accommodate multi-generational living. And, with more people working from home, home office projects have also risen. Estelia predicts a home office will become a permanent feature in nearly every home. Other popular pandemic-inspired DIY projects include building treehouses for the kids and fire pits where friends and neighbors can safely sit together, six feet apart!
Looking for the perfect multi-generational home or investment?
Check out this fabulous listing and call Estelia today for an appointment.
Beautiful penthouse condo at 6020 Shore Boulevard S. condo in Gulfport with sweeping waterfront views that stretch from Boca Ciega Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. Designed for comfort and relaxed elegance, with spacious open rooms, this 7,000 sq. ft. fully furnished penthouse condo was meticulously redesigned and completely renovated in 2019 to fit any and all generations. Perfect for a family that wants a compound-like retreat, or a smaller family that enjoys hosting extended family and friends, or a savvy investor that wants to live in one unit and rent the other.