NATIONAL (CBS NEWSPATH) – The pandemic has been difficult for many businesses, but those involved with home improvement are thriving.
When the pandemic started, the Levyn family found themselves at home more. They decided to renovate the backyard, including a new deck. “You want where you live, if you have to work there and if you have young children, you want it to be as lovely as it can possibly be,” Allison Levyn says.
The Levyn’s hired a local company, MG Construction & Decks. “Business has been crazy. It is really good,” says co-owner Melissa Gabso.
A Consumer Specialists survey found 57% of homeowners made improvements this spring. And plenty of people are doing it themselves, which is driving up sales at hardware stores. Home Depot recently posted its strongest quarterly sales growth in 20 years. But the demand is leading to a shortage of supplies, especially lumber.
“The do-it-yourself market went crazy and then eventually the construction picked back up again and we saw record levels of construction across the country right now, and that put a real tight squeeze on the supply of lumber,” says Steve Sallah, president and CEO of LBM Advantage, a lumber buying cooperative. He says prices for wood have tripled in some places and lumber mills likely won’t ship new orders until October.
“The supply chain right now has limited capacity out there, we’re seeing record prices everywhere as supply and demand is just at the largest mismatch I’ve seen in my 13 years in this business,” according to Sallah. He says shortages should start to ease this fall, but prices likely won’t return to normal until early next year.