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The price of lumber

Alrighty then, the price of lumber and other building products has skyrocketed lately. Demand has risen with work-from-home folks renovating their home office, building a shed, fixing their deck. They are saving money by not commuting or leisure travelling, stuck at home. Supply is choked as some mills closed due to the pandemic, and can’t re-open quickly due to maintenance and labour issues.

But this analysis misses one important demographic pushing prices up: VanLife Vloggers.

The pandemic had couples like Trent and Allie leave their van at the southern tip of South America; they are now building a house in the mountains of Utah. “Insulation is the new toilet paper” a clerk jokes to Trent. A Canadian couple, Eamon and Bec, are renovating a cabin in the woods north of Ottawa and comment on the high price of lumber while surrounded by trees. They buy huge amounts of lumber to build an elaborate deck down to the lake from their hillside home. And tools. Every jobsite needs tools. The Indie Project couple buy a lot of tools in central Portugal where they hunkered down after six years of video-blogging about their world travels. The wood beams on the ceiling of their converted stone barn look beautiful with three coats of Danish Oil.

Foresty Forest lives in a van, and continues to share his west Canadian solo mountain hikes and home-cooked meals. He explained recently that he would like group hikes, but then he tends to forget to film, and he must continue providing content to support this way of life: sponsors and paid ads on the videos. 

When the Van Life people can get travelling again, perhaps the price of lumber and building supplies and tools may level out or even decrease to pre-pandemic.

This just in: “Ag’s latest headache: a shortage of pallets for shipping produce. May 23—Water, farm labor, shipping containers, truck drivers — it’s as though everything that’s not actual food is coming up short for local agricultural producers these days. And now this: They’re running low on pallets, too.

“An inadequate supply of wooden pallets, the squat structures used to make shipments easier to move with a forklift, has hit the industry just ahead of the grape harvest, raising concerns that farmers’ profits could be lost to packaging expenses — or worse, lead to a produce shortage.”

I bought some lettuce seeds on May Long.


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