Thinking about using that stimulus check to build a deck or make a home repair? Brace yourself for sticker shock.
KENTUCKY, USA — Maybe you’ve thought about building or repairing your deck with your stimulus money, get ready for sticker shock. It will likely cost at least 30 percent more than had the work been done at the same time last year.
This week, lumber commodities hit record highs. The price of wood is 300 percent more than this time last year.
COVID-19 cut into production at sawmills, stopping blades during the early days of the pandemic. Then people staying “safe at home” focused on home improvement projects. Now the housing market is booming too.
General Contractor, Keith Bibelhauser of Boondocks Construction is a master of the old saying of “measure twice, cut once.” But with lumber prices shooting higher than a 1,000-year-old redwood, he’s measuring thrice.
“At $7.37 a board, these aren’t $3 boards anymore,” Bibelhauser said.
His current job is dire.
What looks like half-shredded cardboard is a 2×4, lunchmeat for a colony of termites. The nice lady who lives here could have lost a lot more than the cost of repairs had this situation gone undetected any longer.
“When I walk away, it’ll look brand new”, insists Bibelhauser.
But there’s a major factor.
“I’ve got to have lumber”, he explains.
That leads to an eye-opening experience if you’re trying to get work down right now.
“Most people aren’t in touch with the lumber prices,” he explained. “However, when you hand them a bid and it has your labor, it has your demo and it has the finished product, they start to have the wow factor.”
He has this advice to protect your pocketbook, “You’ve got your big box stores. You can go online, you can see the individual price of a 2×4 or a 2×1. Take a look at that. Check out your contractor. We don’t mind. But keep in mind that the contractor has to go and pick it up, he has to order, he has time lost. So, most contractors are going to add on a percentage for that.”