DIY project material prices remain high, except for lumber

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DENVER (KDVR) — Do it yourself home improvement projects have become a staple for many Coloradans during the pandemic.

According to new data from the Hearth Home Improvement Index, Colorado is currently ranked as 7th in the nation for DIY projects (Wyoming came in 1st).

Analysts sifted through home improvement loan applications in our state and found Coloradans have increased home improvement projects related to interior remodeling, windows and doors, fencing and decks, landscaping and solar panels.

That said, supply still remains low and prices remain high for materials such as wall board, roofing and steel related products.

On the flip side, lumber prices are back down. In May of 2021, it would’ve cost you about $1,500 per thousand board feet of lumber, now it only cost $389.

“Other materials even some of the fasteners you may need to attach lumber to what you’re building – that remains problematic both in terms of price and availability at any given time,” explained Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America.

Simonson said some items could take weeks, even months to arrive.

On a larger scale, construction companies in Colorado are dealing with all sorts of road blocks right now: a shortage of employees, record-high material costs and historically low supplies on said materials.

The Associated General Contractors of America surveyed more than 70 construction firms in Colorado and found more than a third are dealing with these issues as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

The data from the survey goes on to show 25% of firms in our state absorbed all costs when it comes to rising material costs on projects — and 36% of firms believe it will be more than six months before their volume of business will return to normal levels.

A good number of firms are running into project delays, according to the organization.

As material costs have been rising, delivery times have become uncertain — forcing some owners to postpone or cancel projects all together.

“An even bigger problem for contractors these days is the supply chain. They’re being quoted production times that are a year out,” said Simonson.

In Colorado, roofing materials could take four to eight months to arrive.

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