Why Are Lumber Prices So High in Minnesota Right Now?
If you've done any project where you needed lumber, your jaw probably hit the floor when you saw the cost. So why are lumber prices so high in Minnesota right now?
Finding lumber can be tough right now in Minnesota
We had to replace a couple of posts on the cedar fence in our backyard in northwest Rochester recently, and it was then that the high cost of lumber hit me. And, actually, because we only needed a few posts, it wasn't the cost that was so high (though it IS higher than when we replaced some a few years ago), it's that lumber can be in scarce supply these days.
The fence company told me that getting two posts wouldn't be a problem, but getting, say, 30 or so-- the amount needed when putting in a new fence-- just might be. So what's going on with lumber in Minnesota right now?
When you DO find lumber, the prices are high-- all thanks to the pandemic
First, yeah, prices ARE high. According to this KARE-11 story, prices are WAAY up compared to 2019. "Since last April, lumber costs have spiked 180%, according to the National Association of Home Builders, increasing the cost of building an average home by $24,386," KARE noted. That's pretty high!
And, it's all because of-- stop me if you've heard this before-- the pandemic. This Popular Mechanics story says there are several factors at play: New home construction has been over the past years, even before the pandemic. Then, once those lockdowns hit last year and we were all forced to stay home, many of us made improvements and launched remodeling projects, putting an even greater demand on lumber. As did many restaurants and bars, as they created outdoor dining areas.
Finally, the pandemic has wreaked havoc on the various supply chains that keep lumber and other items we've noted have been in short supply at stores stocked. "It’s a perfect storm of high demand and low infrastructural capacity," the story noted.
What can YOU do about the high lumber prices?
Lumber prices are expected to remain high and availability somewhat scarce for a while, so the story suggests a couple of things we can do: Use wood from other sources, like repurposed wood from wooden pallets. When you do have to buy lumber, plan accordingly and don't waste any. Or, consider using alternate materials instead of lumber.
Now, given the high cost of lumber, instead of remodeling your home, maybe you'd like to buy a different home. Can you afford the Most Expensive Home in Minnesota? Even if you can't (like me), keep scrolling to check out the amazing pictures!