Pandemic-related projects are causing a building material shortage, driving up costs

Many homeowners are putting off projects because of rising lumber prices.
Pandemic-born home improvement projects kicked off a shortage of building products. But News 12 New Jersey has found that there may be new reasons why home renovation projects may be financially out of reach.
Jaeger Lumber Yard in Union Township says that it does not have nearly enough lumber than is needed.
“This is actually pretty sparse for us right now,” says head buyer Wayne Gruchacz.
Gruchacz says that it will be weeks before he is able to get more of what is needed and what customers want.
The demand for building materials remains high as many people continue to invest in pandemic-related home improvement projects.
“There are so many projects out there that people want to do and are still doing, because they set that in motion a year ago,” says owner Brian Jaeger. “These projects aren't going to stop.”
But some projects may have to stop with supplies down because of the demand.
And a new problem is emerging – transporting the materials. Jaeger says that getting lumber from the manufacturer to the yard has been slow and costly.
“Employees to load the cars are in short demand. Even on our side, getting more people in our yard to deliver the product is a problem now,” he says.
All of this means higher prices for materials and more frustrations from local suppliers. Jaeger has served New Jersey for three generations.
“I suppose it’s a good problem, but when your best customers are frustrated with you, it hurts,” he says.
Jaeger says that his best advice is to be patient, plan ahead, and consider putting off projects for a time. Supply should go back up and prices should go back down.
High lumber costs are also having a huge impact on the real estate market. According to the National Association of Home Builders, between April 2020 and April 2021, the average price of a single-family home increased by about $36,000.