Lumber Limbo: Shortage of Wood

There is a national lumber shortage affected homeowners and businesses.
Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 11:03 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -If you are planning on doing some home improvement projects this summer like adding a deck or repairing a fence, you may have to wait a while. Right now, there is a national shortage of lumber, especially pressure-treated wood.

The shortage is not only affecting homeowners, but small business owners who are trying to make a living during this pandemic.

Summer is the busiest time of year for Handy Ones Remodel and Repair in Sioux Falls, but they’re running into problems due to the shortage.

“Yeah, lumber is really setting us back on jobs. We can’t get green treated lumber, we’re having trouble getting cedar wood for fences. I’ve had to push customers back two to three months,” said Earl Broker, Owner of Handy Ones.

They've had to change plans with the deck they are currently working on.

“Instead of it being able to be green treated for the customer like she wanted, we ended up having to substitute cedar wood in the decking just because we can’t get the deck boards. And they’re talking two to four months out before the mills can even catch up to get it to us,” said Broker.

Allied Midwest Merchandisers is a lumber distributor. Staff says the shortage is due to all the free time people have had during the pandemic.

“Seems like a pent up demand for people doing home projects right now, there’s a lot of that and the normal, you know construction kicked in and there was already pressure on the industry prior to that that just added even more to it,” said Dana Iverson who overlooks the Lumber Division for Allied Midwest.

The pressure comes from crews struggling to harvest enough trees.

“Early spring was real wet, they weren’t able to get in and properly forest materials there,” said Iverson.

Because of the high demand lumber prices have also gone up.

“Back in April is when the significant price increase took place and the shortage started to show up,” said Iverson.

Right now, businesses like Handy Ones are doing what they can with the materials they do have and hope the shortage ends quickly.

Both companies say their best advice to anyone planning a home improvement project is to plan ahead and get started now if you know you are going to be needing lumber.

Copyright 2020 Dakota News Now. All rights reserved.

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