Local Home Builders Experience Lumber Shortage

Tuesday, September 8th 2020, 9:30 pm
By: Clayton Cummins

Home builders nationwide are running into a shortage of lumber for new home construction. Local home builders said Oklahoma is no exception. 

According to the Oklahoma Home Builders Association, lumber prices have increased over 110% since April. 

Like many things these days, COVID-19 is partially to blame. 

The Little Family in Bridge Creek have experienced the ripple effects of a nationwide lumber shortage firsthand. They’re currently living in a camper on the same property their new home is being built on after selling their home in Mustang.  

The family was told they’d move into their new home in mid to late August or early September but due to a lumber shortage, that date has been pushed back several months. Living out of a camper temporarily has been the most feasible.  

“If it was just my husband and I, it would be fine in this camper,” said Amber Little. “But we have two girls and we have animals that we have to take care of as well, it has definitely been a struggle.” 

It’s been a struggle too, for Tim Turner of Turner and Son Homes. 

Record low interest rates has business booming with profits getting slimmer as supply costs increase. Becoming flexible has been the name of the game recently.  

“I think its matter of logistics,” said Turner. “It’s a matter of planning all the steps, all the phases of construction even further out than we were knowing lead times are going to be an issue for materials and labor.” 

The Oklahoma Home Builders Association says they began seeing problems early this summer.  

“Most lumber is coming from the west coast area, that’s an area that has been shut down more than what we see in the Midwest, more than what we shut down in Oklahoma,” said Mike Means, Executive Vice President at the Oklahoma Home Builders Association. “We still have the tariff situation going on with Canadian lumber.” 

Each day the Little family peaks out the window of their camper and remind themselves of patience.  

“We look at it every day and just pray and pray that one day we will be in there very soon,” said Amber.  

Experts predict relief in late fall or early winter.   

The Oklahoma Home Builders Association is reaching out to senators and members of congress, urging that domestic production of lumber be ramped up. They’re also encouraging that a deal be reached with Canada.