The skyrocketing price of timber has made timber a popular commodity for house builders and thieves

Between high demand, unprecedented high prices and high interest from thieves, ordinary old wood has become the hottest commodity in this year’s house, deck and wall construction season.

Garth Babcock, the construction manager of Akash Homes, said: “Last year, we bought the same product here for $10 per sheet and $11 per sheet. Now, our price for each sheet of paper is around $90.” There are 250 houses in Tashkent province. “This is unheard of.”

Three-quarters of the price of the builder is bought in large quantities by the builder, and the price per thousand square feet is usually around US$400. But it doesn’t work anymore.

“In the past we would spend some money, maybe 600 dollars, 800 dollars [for] A thousand board feet. Now, it’s over $2,200 and we don’t know where to go,” Babcock said.

He said that the cost of a 1,800-square-foot duplex apartment last year was $25,000, and the price is now three times that.

what happened?

Last summer, due to the shortage of wood fiber following the infestation of wildfires and mountain pine beetles, people already felt the shortage after several factories in British Columbia closed. Due to the suspension of COVID-19, many North American factories also temporarily cut production in early 2020.

Then, a people trapped at home began to build more decks and fences. People were renovated to adapt to the new home office life-not only in Canada, but also in the United States.

As a result, steel mills scrambled to cut down logs, the timber supply was in short supply, and contractors were forced to pay more for available timber.

Nail down

It also took the thief away.

This spring, Akash Homes was attacked at multiple workplaces, causing approximately $100,000 in damages. Babcock said that after dark, the thief used on-site machinery to load a large number of wooden bales onto his trailer.

He said: “They are plugging in zoom lenses on site and getting products from about two or three builders.”

The Babcock mark belongs to the plywood of Akash Homes. If the paint appears on another job site or is advertised online, the paint can make the wood recognizable. (Min Dhariwal / CBC)

In response, Akash Homes strengthened security by installing cameras on the project site and marking materials with color spray paint to help identify wood sold at other work sites or online.

For people outside the housing construction industry, protecting product safety is also a major issue.

Barb MacTavish and her husband Scott run Wild Rose Fencing and Decks in Edmonton. The company recently installed security cameras in its warehouses to monitor its fence panels and decorative materials.

“I have never been so busy before”

McTavish said that during the pandemic, more people staying at home means a busy season in the future, regardless of higher material costs.

She said that last summer she offered a new fence to the customer at a price of US$10,000. It is now $14,000.

“I really think that from what I have seen, it will be a difficult year. [price] Increase, but we have never been so busy. “

The fence board sold for $4 last year is twice as much as today. She said that in the past, the supplier would keep the price for one month, but now it has dropped to a few days.

Scott MacTavish, co-owner of the Wild Rose fence and deck, performed the finishing touches on the retaining wall in the Brookview community. (Peter Evans/CBC)

The same is true in housing construction.

Babcock said some of their properties were sold before the foundation was poured.

This is good for the business, but now there is another problem looming.

He said: “Supply is in short supply, and in the future, we will be told that we may not be able to obtain the wood we need if the road is not far.” “This brings us another problem.”

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