STEILACOOM, Wash. - Since the pandemic, lumber prices have soared and in some cases by nearly 400 percent. The supply side has impacted prices and ripples across the construction industry.
Contractor Ryan Babbit says his construction company has had to get creative to achieve clients' goals as raw materials become more expensive.
"The prices we quoted last year are no longer sustainable this year," said Babbit.
Babbit says some of his clients also downsize the scale of their remodel or wait for prices to fall.
The City of Cosmopolis in Grays Harbor County also felt the pinch of rising construction material costs. Voters approved a new city municipal building. It would have created a new home for police, as the department is currently stuffed into a facility that cannot meet its needs.
"It’s virtually a trailer that was donated by Weyerhaeuser," said Cosmopolis Mayor Kyle Pauley.
Skyrocketing costs forced the city to temporarily suspend the build. Babbit says the client for the Steilacoom project has been flexible, but he has seen how rising material costs have dashed some clients’ plans for their dream home.
Another crisis looming in the future for the industry Babbit says will be replacing the number of older professionals retiring, as younger craftsmen are not seeking employment in the construction business.
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