Pandemic, home improvements lead to severe supply shortage
WASAGA BEACH, ONT. -- During the height of the pandemic, with everything closed and most people spending more time on the homefront, home improvement projects soured.
Now, all those projects have lead to a severe shortage of supplies.
A typically stocked lumber yard at Home Hardware in Wasaga Beach is now bare minimum.
"I've been to a couple different suppliers, and it's the same thing. No stock. Or they don't know what they are going to get, or when they are going to get it," said contractor David McNabb.
Inventories of pressure-treated wood were depleted when sawmills were shuttered during the lockdown, plus the demand from do-it-yourselfers.
So far, the supply chain hasn't recovered.
"We have no deck boards. We have no two-by-six, no two-by-eights. We get a truck a week. We don't know what's on them when they are coming. Just whatever shows up is what we will have in stock for the next week," said Garry Irwin, Beach Builders.
The shortage has crept into other lumber categories, including plywood and some other hardware items. It's driving prices up in some cases more than 60 per cent from last year.
Contractors are forced to postpone projects because materials aren't available.
"I have about six deck jobs on hold for next year and a few others that I've just told we might as well wait until next year to even quote it - to see what lumber prices are going to be," McNabb said.
For the time being, there's no end to the shortage in sight. It could continue into the next year.