Date: April 3, 2017
Just looking around, we can see more low to mid-rise building being built from less safe softwood lumber. Now, the cost of this practice is continuing to rise. Since the start of 2017, the price of framing lumber has risen 15%. In just the three weeks between January 27thand February 17th alone, this increased as much as 5% per week, on average. And in recent weeks, some places have seen the costs rise as much as 30%!
Behind this change is a long-running dispute between Canada and the U.S. on wood imports and exports. Until now, expenses were under control by the 2006 trade agreement over Canadian imports of softwood lumber. This arrangement expired at the end of 2016. What’s left from the failure to reach a new compromise has been unstable, market-wide price increases.
As it currently stands, it is uncertain when the U.S. and Canada will find their middle ground.
While concrete has always been the long-term best choice in durability, safety, and the environment, this change in the lumber market makes it the perfect time to learn more about concrete construction methods such as Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) and Tilt-up construction. Using these methods do not just protect your building, but they protect your wallet from the harmful effects the mayhem in the softwood lumber market. Concrete builds faster and simpler than wood, and lasts much longer.