EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Michael Willey has been in the lumber business for nearly 40 years. He’s the manager of Willey Lumber Company Inc., and this year is unlike any other. “When we bought 400 bundles of plywood last year, we spent $4,000 on that plywood,” Willey explained, “When we bought the same purchase this year, it was $11,700, with more than a 400% price increase.”
He said that increase is based on demand. “None of the mills can manufacture quick enough, fast enough. They don’t have entire work crews because they’re all taken out because of COVID,” Willey said.
It’s not just lumber. Boyce Murtaugh, Vice President of Murtaugh Restorations said prices have soared for almost all building materials. “Whether it’s siding, roofing, anything to do with metal works, even all the way down to a nail. nails are up at least 25-percent and still increasing,” Murtaugh explained.
Even though there’s not much he can do about it, Murtaugh said this does impact his bottom line. “Jobs that we would normally probably sell are not being sold,” he said.
Since there’s no telling when prices will go back down, Willey said anyone looking for lumber should be mindful of the projects that they’re hoping to accomplish this year.
“If it’s out of necessity, do it. If it’s out of safety do it. Just plan on a little bit more money,” Willey added. He’s even holding off on his own projects. “Mrs. Willey, you’re not going to get your garage this year,” he said laughing.
If you’re willing to wait, prices are expected to balance out next year.