The cost of lumber across the country and WNY skyrockets along with the demand for supplies

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BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – Not only are more people looking to improve their homes and build homes during the pandemic, but the cost of lumber to make that happen has skyrocketed.

“It’s crazy. I have not seen anything like this in the 20 years that I’ve been here,” said Paul Sutton who’s the manager at Len-Co Lumber on Seneca street in Buffalo.

The price of lumber throughout the country is at an all time high, with supplies costing people double to triple more than last year.

“It’s somewhat of the perfect storm of supply and demand right now. The demand is strong despite what’s going on in the country, in the world, some folks are fortunate to still have some money in their pockets, and they’re spending it on their homes,” said Len-Co Lumber Vice President Stephen Coppola.

Coppola said the downside is it’s been difficult for manufacturers to keep up. He said his business is doing its best to keep items in stock and affordable. Including sending their own trucks across the country to pick up lumber, and buying supplies in bulk.

“We’re doing everything we can to keep the pricing as consistent and fair as possible, we urge people to remember we’re at the end of the supply chain, by the time it gets to us all those price increases have been added and we’re keeping it at what our normal mark ups would be,” he said. “It’s just that when things have doubled or tripled in price it looks like a much bigger number regardless of what we’re doing.”

Coppola encourages customers do their research when buying supplies.

“Do your homework. If you decide that you’re going to do a project, and you can line up the labor to do it, a contractor or your own labor,” he said. “Don’t wait because people are calling us, coming in and by the time they get here someone has come in and taken it it’s that crazy.”

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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