June 19, 2021
  • June 19, 2021

Lumbermania causing problems for the Richmond construction trade

By on June 5, 2021 0

Many sawmills decided to shut down completely when the pandemic first hit North America last spring.

Richmond builder Gary Lan was eager to build a house where he and his wife could enjoy their retirement.

Lan started building his 4,000 square foot house last November in Vancouver and remembered an eight foot by four foot piece of plywood costing around $ 18.

However, he was shocked recently to find the same pieces of wood now selling for $ 68.

The price increases aren’t limited to lumber, Lan said, and have spread to other products essential to building a home, such as two-by-fours.

“The price of two-by-fours has doubled since last year. It used to cost about $ 5.70 per unit, now it’s $ 11. It takes a lot of twos to build a house, ”he said.

“I originally planned to spend around $ 70,000 on lumber and building materials, but unprecedented volatility and soaring prices pushed the cost up to $ 110,000,” Lan said.

Some homeowners, Lan added, might decide to put the house on hold to see if the price returns to normal.

But he decided to go ahead, believing that the price will continue to climb.

“I couldn’t wait any longer which would waste more money in the end,” Lan said.

What’s even worse is that a few of Lan’s friends who are also home builders had to stop construction due to a severe shortage of building materials.

“You don’t get what you want even if you have the money. You have to wait patiently. That’s how crazy and ridiculous the lumber market is right now,” Lan said.

Lan said he felt extremely relieved to see his house building project come to an end this month.

Jackie Zang, founder of Richmond Pallet Picker Corporation, said that “lumbermania” is a fairly straightforward story about the booming demand and tight supply in the home construction and renovation markets.

When the pandemic first hit North America last spring, many sawmills decided to shut down entirely because they believed demand for their business could drop, Zang said.

However, things seemed to be moving in the opposite direction.

“With pandemic closures taking place across the country, more and more people who work from home have decided to buy larger homes or are considering tackling home improvements and renovations. come on, ”Zang added.

Soaring lumber prices should also have a knock-on effect on real new home prices.

Richmondite Victor Chow, who has 30 years of experience as a builder, said increased lumber costs would end up being passed on to consumers, potentially excluding some customers from the market altogether.

“I’ve never seen anything like it. For example, if you are planning to build a 3,000 square foot single-family home, record lumber prices will add about $ 150,000 to the cost of building a new home. “said Chow.

“The owner has to spend an extra 20 or 30 percent. Who’s still up for building a house right now? Maybe only millionaires would say yes. The situation is going to affect all of us in this chain.”

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