How The Lumber Shortage Affects Your Wood Floors

After spending more time than we could have ever anticipated at home, you may be one of the many itching to start that new flooring project you’ve had your eye on. It’s no secret that lumber prices reached record heights over the past year, however the circumstances are looking brighter as lumber futures continue to drop. Here are some things you should consider and know when planning your next wood flooring home project.

The Shortage and Production Issues 

You’ve probably heard an increasing amount of news coverage on the lumber shortage over the past year. However, the lumber and sawmill crisis truly began before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lumber has always been a complicated good with discourse on policies, the environment, costs, and transportation. Since 2018 discussions of tariffs and decreases in exportations led to an oversaturated high-grade lumber market. Sawmill production went down and businesses shut down, carrying lumber issues into 2019. As the pandemic began, lumber production production was already seeing record lows. 

As with most markets, the pandemic only complicated things. Sawmills laid off workers as they battled the state of the economy and the risks of COVID-19. With so many barriers in the way of smooth operation, no one could have predicted the soon to come surge in lumber needs. 

Pandemic Demand Increases

As restlessness settled in, the number of home buyers, builders, and renovators increased unexpectedly. Many could not wait to tackle home-improvement projects they had put off and finally had the time for. Between the labor shortage, transportation issues, and businesses struggling, the demand simply could not be matched.

Naturally, lumber prices began to rise higher and higher. The already stressed market combined with a spike in remodelers, contractors, and home improvers led to record highs in May 2021.

While these prices may have felt discouraging over the past year, lumber futures are now dropping drastically and the future of construction and renovation costs look bright. As the world reopened more and more, summer tempted everyone to get outside and take a break from their work and projects. People are beginning to travel again and the demand for lumber has started to wane. Prices have plummeted over 40% in June 2021 and will hopefully continue on this downward trend.

As businesses adjust and recover from the pandemic, supply should improve and things will return to a more balanced state. With more affordable lumber on the horizon you can feel confident and excited in your upcoming wood floor refurbishment or installation project. Here are some important tips and ideas to keep in mind as you plan your dream floors. 

 

Timing 

Seasonal construction slows down in Autumn so you may see a price drop as demands for lumber decrease. If you’re not willing to roll the dice during the slower season, you might behoove you to keep an eye on lumber prices, and be prepared to move a little quicker when you notice a sudden decrease in costs.

 

Find Your Dream Team

When hiring experts, find a reliable team with good communication. With the shortages and transportation complications, you’ll want a dependable and experienced team that can keep you informed on materials, progress, customization and more. 

Supporting local small businesses in this process helps ensure communication and therefore benefits you. Hire people who care about the quality of their craft and the vision you have for your project! The team at Artisan Wood Floors is a favorite of the Philadelphia area, and are experts in Philadelphia and New Jersey wood floor installation, repair, refinishing, and more.

 

Project Budget

 If you’re on a tighter budget, consider an improvement project such as maintenance coating, deep cleaning, refinishing, or repairs to an existing floor. Sometimes all your floor needs is some expert love and care to restore it back to its former glory.

 

More Bang for Your Buck

Consider addressing multiple projects at once and getting the most use out of leftover lumber. This can also be a more time efficient approach in securing materials. Rather than risking future or additional delays on your next project, consider tackling multiple projects and see your dream results sooner. This is a great strategy for landlords who need to make many wood flooring repairs over the course of a season.

 

A Worthy Investment 

Who knows what the future holds but if there’s anything we’ve learned in the past year, it’s that your home is a great investment and should be cherished and treated as such. Feeling proud and comfortable in your home is invaluable. 

The lumber market appears to have a burgeoning future and more accessible costs ahead. The outlook for construction, renovations, and DIYs is promising and now is the time to start planning that passion project you’ve been thinking about all year! 

To ensure high quality workmanship, and an expert finish, call the wood floor experts at Artisan Wood Floors, at (215) 515-7355 and ask for Steve! Wether your just want to inquire about prices, or talk through a complicated historical refurbishment, this team loves wood floors, and will work with you to make sure the price is right….no matter how costly lumber may be!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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