COVID-19 Pandemic Causes Lumber Shortage For Home Builders


Sunday, March 7th 2021, 9:18 pm
By: William Blanchette


TULSA, Okla. -

Lumber prices are at an all-time high. Builders said the prices can affect the decision of how to construct a home.

 “The largest portion of your home purchase is going to be from the lumber yard,” Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa president and CEO Jeffrey Smith said.

Smith said COVID-19 has disrupted the supply chain, which has caused a shortage of lumber.

“What that’s done on pricing is an increase on lumber of around 40 to 50 percent of the entire project of a home,” Smith said.

Over the last year, the increased price of lumber has caused a 10 percent increase in the sale price of new homes.

Epic Custom Homes owner Jeff Starkweather said they typically build around 15 to 20 homes a year. Starkweather said it’s been a challenge dealing with the price increase.

“The biggest concerns for builders are whether you are keeping up with the price,” Starkweather said.

Over the last year, Starkweather said engineered lumber has gone up 250 percent while regular dimensional lumber has gone up 20 percent.

Starkweather said this has also caused their customers to be more cautious about how to build their homes.

Mill Creek sells lumber for new home construction. Its president, Jeff Dunn, said the price increase has made it difficult for home builders to deliver a product to their customers within the price they want. 

“They make assumptions on what the costs are going to be to build a home and, in normal times, those assumptions are valid, but you can throw those out the window now,” Dunn said.

If you are interested in building a home, Smith suggested to do it now because the longer you wait, the more expensive the home will be.