Have any of you been to the home improvement store lately to purchase large amounts of lumber, plywood, or trim? Did you nearly fall over from complete shock when the cashier told you the total price?
This was my experience yesterday. After taking time off from home-related projects during the holiday weekend, I was ready to hit the ground running yesterday, and get on with the next project in our home gym. In case you missed it, I finally finished the walls, and they look like this…
With the walls done, I’m now ready to move on to the trim — window and door casings, crown molding, and baseboards. So after taking all of the measurements and making my shopping list, I headed to Home Depot to pick up everything I’d need to completely trim out this room.
Generally, I can trim out a room for about $350 (for a small to medium room) to about $600 (for a large room with more windows). And of course, I’ve known that lumber and wood products cost more right now because I’ve purchased these things over the last couple of months, but it’s been one board, or one quarter sheet of plywood, or a couple of pieces of trim at a time. This was my first time to buy lumber and trim in such a big quantity for one whole room.
And, oh my gosh, I nearly fell over when the girl got everything rung up. Just the lumber and trim to trim out this one room cost $1,174.08. Here’s what almost $1200 worth of lumber and trim looks like…
I always buy the pre-primed fingerjoint boards because they’re cheaper and make trimming out windows faster because they’re already primed. But even these cheaper boards added up very quickly.
Honestly, the first thought in my mind was, “How in the world are people affording to build houses right now?!” This has me so baffled. The cost of lumber right now has about quadrupled, and yet the housing market is booming. Builders can’t keep up with the demand. It’s crazy!
But it’s not just the cost that has me baffled. It’s the supply (which, of course, is affecting the cost). I walk through our Home Depot, and the lumber aisle has sections that are bare. Same with the plywood. Just in getting the lumber and trim for my room, I had to make some pretty major changes to my list as I was shopping because sizes I needed were completely out. And it’s been this way for at least two or three months. So how in the world are builders getting enough supply of building materials to build all of these new houses to meet demand?
Anyway, it baffles me. I know that the lumber mills will eventually get back up and running to full capacity again, and that will bring the supply up and the costs will come back down (or at least, I hope). But it makes me wonder what the heck to do in the meantime. My plan had been to finish up the home gym and then get started on my studio. My studio not only needs to be completely trimmed out, but my plan also includes building several walls of cabinets. Have you seen the cost of plywood lately?
That’s $84 for one sheet of 3/4″ plywood! And you can see in the picture that that’s not even the pretty stuff. That’s the pine plywood that’s sanded somewhat smooth on one side, but the other side is rough.
For those of you who have building and remodeling projects in the works, or pending projects that you need to get started on or finished, how are you handling this? Are you doing only what absolutely needs to get done right now, and holding off on the rest? Are you pushing forward full steam regardless of the costs?
I’m especially curious if any of you are building houses right now, and how all of this is affecting you. Did you consider holding off and seeing if prices would come down later this year as (hopefully) production gets ramped back up? And if you decided to go ahead right now despite costs, what went into that decision?
I have what I need right now to keep me busy on the home gym for the next couple of weeks. But when I’m finished with that and ready to start on my studio, I honestly have no idea what I’m going to do. It might be a good time for me to hold off on any big building projects, and instead focus on some smaller projects. The exterior of our house could use some attention. Maybe it’s a good time to do some landscaping or something like that that doesn’t require large amounts of lumber and wood products while we wait and see if production might ramp up and costs may come down.
Anyway, how are y’all handling this? Are you holding off on big building projects, or are you full steam ahead?
Addicted 2 Decorating is where I share my DIY and decorating journey as I remodel and decorate the 1948 fixer upper that my husband, Matt, and I bought in 2013. Matt has M.S. and is unable to do physical work, so I do the majority of the work on the house by myself. You can learn more about me here.
I hope you’ll join me on my DIY and decorating journey! If you want to follow my projects and progress, you can subscribe below and have each new post delivered to your email inbox. That way you’ll never miss a thing!