Leap in lumber prices drives up construction costs in Vermont

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(NEWS10) – From remodeling a room to adding a backyard deck to building a new home from the ground up, the price of lumber is giving both do-it-yourselfers and professional builders sticker shock. At Rice Lumber in Shelburne, the price has skyrocketed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, said owner David Carroll. 

“I would say lumber is up 400%,” he said. “Every week our prices go up unfortunately.” 

The National Association of Home Builders said the higher prices are a result of increased demand and restrictions in supply because of a lack of domestic production and lumber mill cutbacks. Alex Strong, legislative director at the NAHB, said it’s having an impact on housing affordability across the country.

“The additional cost to construct a home-based purely on the increased cost of lumber, in this case, is adding about $36,000 to the cost to construct a single-family home,” Strong said. 

Laurie Goldsmith, owner of Lauries Certified Construction said, she’s been flooded with calls from people looking to remodel their home.

“When you are sitting at home with nothing else to do, I think people are looking around thinking I really want a new kitchen, or I really need that garage,” she said.

Goldsmith said her company has five crews working on different sites every day. But she is still in desperate need of employees and all materials. Goldsmith said it’s hard to keep wood in stock as the prices rise. 

“It doesn’t matter what it is, from a little piece of trim for a tub kit to two-by-six, you have to order way ahead of the time that you need the lumber,” Goldsmith said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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