‘I’ve never seen anything like this’ | Rising lumber costs doing a number on construction industry


LOVES PARK, Ill. (WTVO) — The price of lumber and other building materials has skyrocketed over the last year. A local contractor tells us he is feeling the effects.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Gary Oehlberg, the owner of Oehlberg Construction. “The prices are just skyrocketing.”

Nationwide supply chain shortages are driving up the cost of building materials and making life difficult for local contractors.

“it’s very difficult for us to lock in a price for somebody if things are as volatile as they are,” he added.

Gary Oehlberg, the owner of Oehlberg Construction in Loves Park, says lumber is especially difficult to find. He tells us the price of lumber is up 200% from this time last year and oftentimes none is available, causing delays in construction.

“Our backs are basically up against the wall. You sign a contract with somebody, and your lumber company can’t hold- who’s going to eat that cost? It’s either me as the contractor, or it’s the consumer,” explained Oehlberg.

Oehlberg says, as a result, the average home costs a consumer roughly $25,000 more than it has in the past.

“We have to put clauses in our contracts now so we’re not taking the hit. It’s crazy,” Oehlberg said. “There are shortages on glue, on staples, all the little odds and end pieces. Hinges- all of that stuff that goes into putting a component together for a house, people are waiting on.”

Long wait times on furniture and appliances are also slowing down new construction projects.

“Try to buy a refrigerator or a dishwasher today and see how long you wait,” he added.

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