Are Lumber Prices Expected to Fall in 2022?

Whether you’re planning on building a new home or tackling a home remodeling project in 2022, lumber prices are an important factor. Lumber prices were sky high in 2021 due to supply chain shortages, inflation and a booming house market. Because of these factors, many people waited to build homes or commit to home improvement projects like renovations and additions. 

So what does 2022 look like for lumber prices? Unfortunately, things aren’t looking much better. Lumber prices are already surging. This January article shares that the price per thousand board feet of lumber jumped nearly 4 percent on Wednesday and is up 12 percent year-to-date. 

Why are Lumber Prices Still on the Rise? 

Just like last year, there are a number of reasons why lumber prices are increasing. Let’s take a look.

Factories are not operating at capacity. 

Labor shortages have been a problem for the entire country, and the lumber industry is no exception. Sawmills in particular have struggled with production and staffing issues. They aren’t able to produce the same supply as they have in years past. And with COVID-19 back on the rise, manpower shortages are increasingly common.

Tariffs are not allowing for solid competition.

The Biden Administration recently doubled tariffs on Canadian lumber shipments into the U.S. from 9 percent to 17.9 percent. While this decision hasn’t gained much national attention, it has serious repercussions for homebuyers. 

Canada has been hit with heavy rains and flooding. 

While the majority of lumber supplies come from the United States, a large portion still comes from Canada. Unfortunately, this territory has been severely impacted by heavy rains and flooding, disrupting highways, rail routes and lumber shipments. 

There have been wildfires on the West Coast. 

It’s not just Canada that has been affected by Mother Nature. Wildfire activity in states like California and Oregon has impacted the number of logs going to the sawmills. This has put more pressure on lumber production in the U.S.

Transportation costs are more expensive. 

Throughout 2021, transportation and trucking costs increased substantially due to rising fuel costs and a shortage of qualified truck drivers. The trucking industry as a whole has had a difficult time finding drivers and has had to increase the wages they pay. 

What Does this Mean for Home Building and Remodeling? 

If you plan on building a new home or remodeling your current home, you have to anticipate spending more on lumber, at least for the time being. Don’t expect cheap lumber anytime soon. But there are a few things you can do. 

  • Talk to your home building contractors in Los Angeles sooner rather than later to secure pricing. If you plan on a few DIY projects, get your materials now instead of waiting. 
  • Consider pre-buying lumber in bulk, especially if you’re planning a longer term project. And talk to your contractor about potentially supplying your own wood. 
  • Think about alternative materials you can use in place of wood such as engineered wood, recycled wood or metal. 

Kavin Construction is a premier home building and remodeling company in Los Angeles. We are no stranger to the new lumber prices, but we have a variety of strategies that allow our customers to complete their projects on time and on budget. Contact us today to discuss your project and the timeline to anticipate.