Lumber prices, supply shortages cause major construction setbacks

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — According to the Association of General Contractors of America Inc., lumber prices have come down 17 percent for the month but remain 16 percent up compared to last year.

Sutherland Homebase General Manager Justin Reed said the increased prices have leveled off slightly but remain at an all-time high.

“About a year and a half ago, it was retailing at about $8. At the peak, it got up to 45 to 50. So, pretty drastic,” Reed said.

Reed said the driven-up prices were caused by more than demand. COVID caused multiple issues along the supply chain.

“It’s demand and supply,” Reed said. “A lot of it is mills being understaffed along with the extra demand… it’s all just accumulated to create this problem.”

This has led to further issues for contractors to stay on time and on budget. Sandia Construction President Greg Durbin said high prices and material shortages are causing some projects to be postponed.

“It is going to be challenging moving forward,” Durbin said. “Our supply chain problem is going to take time for manufacturing to get back to one hundred percent. Shipping is a problem right now.”

Shipping high price materials like lumber and steel are not the only obstacles the industry is having to handle daily.

It’s a new set of challenges every day. That’s hard and impossible to anticipate until you get a call from a subcontractor or supplier saying ‘Hey, this is going to be delayed a month or I can’t get it.'” Or whatever the problem is. Yeah. So, this is the worst I’ve ever seen. I hope it gets better.

Like many businesses, they also have a lot of open positions.

“We haven’t even talked about the labor shortages, and that’s just another variable that’s impacting everything as well,” Durbin said.

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