Price of lumber, other building materials continues to soar

Drew Butler
The Daily Ardmoreite
Workers have begun framing buildings at the upcoming Preserve Apartment Complex. According to Random Lengths, a wood products industry tracking firm, the cost of lumber in the United States has gone up 340% from a year ago.

The rising price of lumber is making headlines across the nation, and viral images comparing current prices to those from a year ago are being spread across social media. According to Random Lengths, a wood products industry tracking firm, the cost of lumber is currently up 67% since the beginning of the year and up 340% from the same time last year. And the price is continuing to rise almost every single day.

Patrick McGuire, manager of County Building Center in Ardmore, described how the situation is affecting Southern Oklahoma.

“Every day is a new day,” he said. “You can’t even give a quote because the next day prices have gone up, and it’s not just the price. There are some things that are hard to even get in.”

McGuire said that lumber whole sellers have told him that one of the biggest reasons for the increase comes from the mills which are currently experiencing a shortage of workers. Another factor is the building boom in home construction spurred on by low interest rates nationwide and an influx of new residents moving into states such as Texas. The increase in demand thus causing an already limited supply to be even more costly.

“Down in Texas there are so many people moving there right now, and they are so busy building they’re having to come up to Oklahoma to buy supplies,” McGuire said.

He gave a few examples of how prices have risen locally.

“Wafer board is about $50 a sheet right now, and it used to be around $8 or $9 a sheet,” McGuire said. “Two-by-fours are over a dollar a foot right now. So last year an 8-ft. two-by-four would have been $2.50 or $3, and now we’re seeing up to $10 depending on what quality you get.”

While lumber prices have definitely seen the most dramatic rise in price, the cost of all building supplies is going up.

“It’s not just lumber,” McGuire said. “The prices have gone up on everything whether that’s wire, PVC, or even concrete.”

He said his suppliers have told him prices will likely remain high — and continue to rise — through at least the end of the summer.