Lumber costs stall projects, create sticker shock for customers

Local News

For those in home construction-related businesses, its being called a "perfect storm"

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – If you were planning to spend all the money you received in federal stimulus checks on a new home project, you may have to wait a while.

There is a shortage of building materials, and for those in home construction-related businesses, it’s being called a “perfect storm” between a nationwide shortage and customers wanting to get work done.

“They’re buying treated decking. They’re buying siding, whatever their project is at their house. At the same time, all that side of the industry there was a shortage on labor and a challenge getting material,” said Mike Leonard, with Bernard-Daniels Lumber.

Leonard said while some items are fairly easy to come by others are not.

“We can’t buy insulation through our best source until July. Vinyl siding, they stopped making some of the dark colors because of the amount of resin in them,” he said.

The deep freeze in Texas earlier this year has plants that make some of those materials still closed, creating a ripple effect.

“We’re now into three-plus months to get cabinets. Windows were a week, now we’re at three months,” said Sam Pitzulo, with Sam Pitzulo Homes.

Pitzulo says the problems have doubled and tripled the prices he pays for lumber, such as 2’x4’s.

“We were paying $2.69. Today, we’re probably at $6.75. We hit as high as the $8,” he said.

With interest rates still at all-time lows, experts say it’s a good idea to plan your projects now and start ordering materials as soon as possible. Just don’t count on deadlines to have them finished or have a firm price on what it will ultimately cost.

“It just keeps growing and growing. It’s really very difficult to come up with a real number of what the cost is going to be today,” Pitzulo said.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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