Author Topic: Lumber prices - what's driving the prices!?  (Read 2041 times)

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Offline neilc

  • Posts: 3039
Lumber prices - what's driving the prices!?
« on: May 13, 2021, 04:46 PM »
Interesting read on Lumber prices, trends and supply challenges...




[color=rgba(27, 27, 27, 0.65)][/size][size=1.46664em]Why wood has gotten so dang expensive

https://constructionphysics.substack.com/p/lumber-price-faq[/size][/color][/size][/font][/color]

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Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 593
Re: Lumber prices - what's driving the prices!?
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2021, 05:11 PM »
I wasn't sure what to expect from the article, but it was a good read.

We're having a shed built off-site and rolled in to place this summer; I pulled the trigger as early as possible after we started the discussion hoping that the price will be locked in even if material prices jump.  I don't want to see the builder lose money on the deal, of course, but the sooner I got my order in, the better.

We were planning on a porch extension and a wood pergola this summer before the baby arrives.  I think I already have my wife talked out of the pergola for this calendar year because of lumber prices and shortages, but based on that article the patio extension might be good to lock in now rather than wait.  I may try to talk my wife into steel corner posts for the pergola, too, but we'll see how that shakes out.

It's a heck of a time to be trying to recover from storm damage, though.  We had over 90% of the homes in our 250k population area damaged last August, and labor is in just as short of supply as materials.  I might have to put a legitimate patch up soon rather than keep relying on what got us through the winter, as there's no relief in sight as far as contractor availability is concerned.  Materials aren't as big of an issue since they were stacking shingles and OSB in every aisle and corner of HD, Lowe's and Menards all winter long in preparation for the spring building season.

Thanks for posting!

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 3039
Re: Lumber prices - what's driving the prices!?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2021, 01:50 PM »
I've ordered grain bins for my farm and the Iowa derecho is a huge cause for steel delays as well. 


Good luck on getting your life back in order.  Amazing the impact of that storm!




Offline Yardbird

  • Posts: 195
Re: Lumber prices - what's driving the prices!?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2021, 06:05 PM »
I was in Menards today.  An employee was working on a display in lumber, and I  mentioned that if they put a table in the aisle with a tablecloth and candlestick, I could bring my wife to the "most expensive place" in town.  He said "watch this"  and pointed to the price on a fire resistance sheet of plywood (I think it was 3/4 T+G) and the price was $57.99.  He then removed that price and inserted the new price -AT $125.99!!!    That was today-May 14 so lumber is still going up, and that is one hefty jump. 

Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 593
Re: Lumber prices - what's driving the prices!?
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2021, 06:27 PM »
I was in Menards today.  An employee was working on a display in lumber, and I  mentioned that if they put a table in the aisle with a tablecloth and candlestick, I could bring my wife to the "most expensive place" in town.  He said "watch this"  and pointed to the price on a fire resistance sheet of plywood (I think it was 3/4 T+G) and the price was $57.99.  He then removed that price and inserted the new price -AT $125.99!!!    That was today-May 14 so lumber is still going up, and that is one hefty jump.

 [eek] [eek] [eek]

I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read that new price, or it would be all over my laptop now!

The "stare at a trainwreck" part of my brain makes me want to drive to all of the big boxes this weekend just to see the insanity for myself in person.

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 1119
Re: Lumber prices - what's driving the prices!?
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2021, 07:59 PM »
He said "watch this"  and pointed to the price on a fire resistance sheet of plywood (I think it was 3/4 T+G) and the price was $57.99.  He then removed that price and inserted the new price -AT $125.99!!!
YIKES!

In case folks are interested here is a receipt sent to me on 5-10-2021. We are going to renegotiate on this past winters wind storms blow down wood on the ridge tops which is about another 7 truck loads with an added cost of $20 per truck load for hauling and ground cutting, which is cheap. We'll see what the mill says. Then we are done logging for awhile to keep with our Stewardship Plan of being a Certified *sustainable* Tree Farm. Not getting rich at all here, but we stowed enough to cover expenses for the next ten years in case logging falls off again, like in the past. Trust me you don't want to own a tree farm. In 2015 we almost lost everything in a fire, but it was kept to only 600 acres on our ranch, as we were logging at the time, so the forest was thinned and masticated. We could have easily lost it all, and almost did. In another fire our house should have burned to the ground in 2017. Maybe wood isn't the best product ever? 
« Last Edit: May 14, 2021, 08:05 PM by Peter_C »

Offline Yardbird

  • Posts: 195
Re: Lumber prices - what's driving the prices!?
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2021, 09:29 PM »
He said "watch this"  and pointed to the price on a fire resistance sheet of plywood (I think it was 3/4 T+G) and the price was $57.99.  He then removed that price and inserted the new price -AT $125.99!!!
YIKES!

In case folks are interested here is a receipt sent to me on 5-10-2021.

I take it you are in the western states.  From what I have been reading the guy selling the logs is not the one making the money, as your receipt shows.  The CME futures has lumber around $1600 and it looks like you are getting $150-$250 if I am reading your receipt correctly. It does not seem that logs have increased in price in relationship to dimensional lumber.  I did notice while at Menards that fir structural lumber was priced higher than pine, which makes sense.

 We did some select cutting years ago, and here in the mid-west (southern Illinois) what the loggers like is white oak.  Hickory and the other oaks not so much.  You can almost make more money leasing for hunting rather than logging. 

Offline Thompmd

  • Posts: 248
Re: Lumber prices - what's driving the prices!?
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2021, 06:54 AM »
I’ve got a couple projects id like to do but simply won’t pay that. If I get into a situation that’s critical then you have to bite the bullet . If people refuse to pay $125 then prices will come down.

I also agree generally that what I refer to as “the little guy” is rarely the one that benefits financially unfortunately.
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Offline xedos

  • Posts: 483
Re: Lumber prices - what's driving the prices!?
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2021, 10:34 PM »
Commodity prices on lumber were down pretty much everyday last week.

Retail prices should follow this summer.

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 1119
Re: Lumber prices - what's driving the prices!?
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2021, 03:28 PM »
I take it you are in the western states.
After taking a wagon across the plains our family moved to the Spanish territory of what is now Oregon. Our barn from that era is now falling down. Someday I will start using more of the wood for projects. Some of it is beautiful and probably highly valuable.

From what I have been reading the guy selling the logs is not the one making the money, as your receipt shows.  The CME futures has lumber around $1600 and it looks like you are getting $150-$250 if I am reading your receipt correctly. It does not seem that logs have increased in price in relationship to dimensional lumber. 
Our receipt is for MBF or 1,000 board feet.  :-\ Not a fair price at all compared to retail.

I did notice while at Menards that fir structural lumber was priced higher than pine, which makes sense.
Fir and Western Larch (Tamarack) are higher dollar value than pine. We have Ponderosa Pine. White Pine grows well, and we planted a few test trees 30 years ago, but haven't planted much as we don't need to, except we planted 10,000 trees after the fire which is all we could get. We wanted 40,000 trees to plant. Planting trees with a spray of Milestone around them is $3.50 a tree. Last time I hired someone and we sprayed post planting. Next time we will pay to have it done upfront.

 
We did some select cutting years ago, and here in the mid-west (southern Illinois) what the loggers like is white oak.  Hickory and the other oaks not so much.
They won't even show up to log unless you have a decent tract of land. Loggers don't like eco farming either. Line loggers want to clear cut, so it is pretty much impossible for us to get one willing to walk their equipment along the ridge tops, and keep re-rigging. Cost prohibitive. 

You can almost make more money leasing for hunting rather than logging.
True that! Although I do not want hunters and trespassers on our land. It is next to impossible to keep people off as we are open range, and abut to Forest Service land with no fences. Someone shot one of *our* bears a couple years ago, then apologized, thinking that would solve everything. We have herds of elk that pass over our land every year. The bears, mountain lions, wolves, elk, mule tail deer, grouse, turkey, etc are safer on our land, if we can keep hunters away. I prefer to shoot with my camera. Go ahead and kill the coyotes though, as they are a menace, just ask permission first.

We do write a sheep grazing lease for 2 bands which is a few thousand sheep. With the right ranchers, sheep are better than cows and do less damage, with more control so as to not over graze. They also keep the brush held back for fire suppression. Last year sheep fed one bear, one mountain lion, and the wolves. No predators were killed. Livestock loss is paid for by the government.

Edit: OOPS!
« Last Edit: May 16, 2021, 03:43 PM by Peter_C »

Offline Bertotti

  • Posts: 196
Re: Lumber prices - what's driving the prices!?
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2021, 10:11 AM »
When I get caught up a bit I am going to start buying logs from loggers and processing them myself. I know enough people who would share the cost enough that for me the wood would pay for itself even at the old prices.

Peter_C how do you read that slip you posted? I don't know all the abbreviations. Thanks!

I am glad I got my Cherry when I did it is up as well but not nearly as high as the big box stores.
I want to populate SD with trees because I miss the forests of the river bottoms.

Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 593
Re: Lumber prices - what's driving the prices!?
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2021, 10:53 AM »
When I get caught up a bit I am going to start buying logs from loggers and processing them myself. I know enough people who would share the cost enough that for me the wood would pay for itself even at the old prices.

I had a guy process a 17' x 30" dia. ash and a 7 1/2' x 24" dia. maple that came down in last year's storms (the only trees in our yard at the time).  Most of my neighbors shredded their trees instead; I couldn't bring myself to do that.  He had to cut the ash into two 8 1/2' pieces to get it on his mill.

Luckily for me, he only came across a single nail in the ash and it only dulled his blade but didn't break it, so he didn't charge me for it.  I know that urban/backyard lumber is a hassle for a lot of loggers/sawyers because of those things.

I just dropped the boards and slabs off at his kiln this past weekend.  He'll air dry them for a while before getting them in the kiln, then I get to pick them up and figure out what the heck to do with all of it.

I watched him mill, but didn't see the grain in the boards and slabs as he stacked them.  Moving them into the trailer gave me a chance to finally see the grain, and it has me pretty excited to dream up projects and get my friends and family involved. 

Already had an offer from a neighbor to buy a slab or two, so between selling slabs and possibly selling off a project or two, I'd imagine I'll come out on the other side of things net ahead on at least the milling and drying, if not even the felling. 

Well, until the A/C bills start to come this summer... those trees gave us a lot of really nice shade on the house in the heat of the afternoon... :(

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 2186
Re: Lumber prices - what's driving the prices!?
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2021, 11:42 AM »
When I started putting the Dricore panels down in my shop a couple weeks ago the panels were $6.19 each and with my military discount they were $5.57 each which works out to $1.39/sf. I went this past weekend to grab the last 6 panels I needed to complete the install and the price is not $7.99. That $1.80 each would have bumped the price up by ~$275 if I were buying them all now.
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