So my dad and I went to Lowes today to pick up a replacement attic fan and a few other things J and I needed. We also went to the lumber section, since my parents need to replace some rotting planks in their deck. He needed cedar but we also walked by the standard pine 2x4s where I stopped and noticed...wood prices have gone through the roof!
It's been over a month now since we did a lot of our infrastructure work upstairs, but still...we paid $2.49 per 2x8x8 then and now they're going for over $4 each!
Sure enough, a quick search of Google News verified that this is true everywhere. Apparently the housing boom, the war in Iraq, and even the construction boom in China are all combining to put a pinch on wood prices.
A few of the finer points from an article in the Chicago Daily Herald...
Wood prices soaring
Summer remodeling projects are getting more costly, thanks to rising lumber prices that are affecting such things as backyard decks and fences...Lumber prices have risen sharply during the past year, due to a collision of factors as diverse as the war in Iraq, trade with China, the strength of the dollar, the housing-construction boom and wildfires in the American West.
The wholesale price of low-grade boards and plywood used in home-improvement projects like decks and additions is up 24 percent from June of last year, according to the government's producer price index. The biggest jumps have come in plywood, a low-grade product made by gluing together very thin sheets of wood, as well as oriented strand board, a lower-cost product much like plywood.
Demand for lumber has been strong since the home-building boom took off during the late 1990s. Rains in the South in spring 2003, followed by summer fires in the West, caused mill closures. Then Hurricane Isabel hit Florida in late summer 2003, boosting demand for plywood used in repairs....Other complicating factors include a building boom in China that sucked in imports, a 27 percent tariff slapped on imports of lumber from Canada - which supplies 30 percent of U.S. lumber consumption - in May 2002, and a weaker U.S. dollar that makes imports from Europe more costly.