Surging Lumber Prices Cause Concerns for Home Builders, Families

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If you are building a house or remodeling an existing home, get ready to pay more, because the cost of lumber is skyrocketing.

As a result, homebuilders are adding clauses to their contracts explaining that while they are bidding jobs at today’s lumber prices, customers could pay thousands more in the future.

“Depending on the size of the house, you’re probably something between 5-7% more on the build,” homebuilder Tom Len tells NBC 5.

According to Lee Cohen of Standard Lumber Company in Glenview, a piece of plywood that cost around $20 last year now costs about three times that, rising to $64.

“When the pandemic was beginning, everybody thought that the housing market was gonna tank. But instead, you have all these homeowners looking at things that they want to do, the market has been up about 400% in demand,” Cohen said.

The Home Builders Association of Illinois told NBC 5 it’s unclear how long the lumber prices will stay high.

“Hopefully we can get some answers from the federal government soon as to why these numbers are going up and that a correction can be made,” said HBAI executive vice president Bill Ward.

Still, builders said demand remains high.

“Obviously, nobody wants to pay a little more, but it’s kind of the cost of doing business in this age,” Len said.

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