Building material costs rising significantly locally and nationwide

SOUTHERN OREGON — One side effect of the pandemic is a shortage in supplies. Locally, as many work to rebuild following last year’s wildfires, construction costs are soaring through the roof.

Lumber yards, electricians, and general contractors in the area say low mortgages and high supply and demand are the main reasons building materials are increasing in price.

“We’re ordering more wood than we’ve ever ordered.”

Electricians in the valley are feeling the demand, too.

“Pricing is off the charts right now, simple electrical copper wire is up 80% in the last 6 months alone.”

Leaving general contractors with their hands tied.

“Waiting on lumber is like we’ve never seen.”

Owner of Hughes Lumber Company, Dennis Rawls, says construction is up 30 – 35% nationwide.

“We’ve seen the lumber market escalate, but we’ve never seen it go to these levels,” said Rawls.

CEO of Precision Electric, Travis Snyder, says the resin market was destroyed because of a hurricane.

Now, getting PVC or anything plastic-based for electrical has been almost impossible.

“Simple things like the little electrical boxes that go inside your house literally don’t exist and we’re trying to get hold of them. Usually, we’re sitting on a 6 month – 1 year supply, right now you can’t find one box available,” Snyder said.

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This has left Vernon Crabtree, owner of VLC General Contracting, turning some customers away.

“It’s tough, you can hear their voice, the sadness, like ‘oh my god, we need a contractor.’ We’re all in a bind right now,” said Crabtree.

Crabtree has been in the business for 40 years.

He says he has 8-10 construction projects in the works, but high prices and lack of building supplies make it difficult to get jobs done on a specific timeline.

“Just basic 2x4s, 2x6s, we’re waiting sometimes a week or two and that’s just standard framing material,” Crabtree said.

As prices reach new highs and families wait for materials and new homes, there’s no telling how long this will last.

“You have to be positive, this can all get better I mean, we can get over this and hopefully taper down and prices drop.”

Hughes Lumber Company says it ordered a lot of supply ahead of time and is fortunate to keep up with demand.

Precision Electric says they’re back-ordered for the next 6 months and cannot accept any other jobs at this time.

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