Material prices are changing the way contractors do business

The rising cost of building materials is forcing contractors to change the way they conduct business.

Posted: Apr 15, 2021 5:52 PM
Updated: Apr 15, 2021 6:19 PM

There’s a nationwide increase in the price of building materials, but Jay-K Lumber Vice President Jonas Kelly says the price of lumber has shot up the fastest he’s ever seen, and it’s not just because of the production decreases from COVID.

"People are at home. They get some stimulus money, and let’s fix the deck, let’s make a new deck, let’s improve your office space because I think you’re going to be working from home for the next year, or two years, or maybe forever," he said.

In some cases the prices have tripled, and that makes it especially difficult for contractors like Innovative Construction owner, William Hamilton, to bid out future construction jobs.

"On my estimates I put that the estimate’s only good for about 2 weeks. If we can get materials ordered it works out, but if we can’t then we might have to readjust, so I’m just letting everybody know that the price could go up," said Hamilton. "Maybe we’ll get lucky and it’ll go down, but it’s looking like they’re still rising."

Great Outdoor Builders Contractor David Szemcsak says many people are holding off on construction after seeing the cost of materials, but he and his crew are still busy, and expect the materials cost to eventually hit a peak.

"The gas prices go up, so does hotel rates, so does materials, so does everything, so I think we’re going to get to a point where we hit a bubble where it’s going to have to, just like we know it’s cyclical with our economy, a reset," he said.

There are a number of factors that play into materials pricing, but Kelly believes lumber prices will start to level off sooner rather than later.

"We’re thinking that the prices might start to moderate and ease in the second half of the year as you know we start to get a leg up on the COVID issue nationwide," said Kelly. "We think production will start to catch up with demand."

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