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An Update on Pandemic Home Improvement Trends and Decking Supply Issues

COVID-19 has led to an increase in homeowner spending on home renovation projects including building new decks. Construction, in many areas, was exempted from stay-at-home orders as an essential business and with deck building allowing contractors to work outdoors while socially distancing, homeowners seem comfortable moving forward with this type of project. As COVID-19 continues to affect our daily lives and the building season has progressed, price and supply have become issues in getting deck projects completed.

Since 2015, lumber prices have been sporadic. Rising and falling with supply and demand. Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened. Loggers curtailed the harvesting of softwood pine in the South anticipating lower demand due to the pandemic. With people placed under various stay-at-home orders, spending on family vacations was put on hold. Families received a check from the government. Stuck at home with a little extra cash and nowhere to go, home improvement projects became a popular way to productively pass the time. While shopping your local big box home improvement store, you may notice empty bays where bunks of lumber would normally be stored and staged for purchase. Due to the loggers slowing the harvest of the trees, lumber supply has become depleted. Although untreated lumber can be provided for purchase rather quickly, lumber was not being provided to treatment facilities in usual quantities, creating a shortage of pressure treated lumber. As a result of the shortage of pressure treated lumber, prices have risen 50% or more! Prices and supply are not expected to recover until winter when the deck season comes to a close.

Pressure treated deck boards have become scarce and suppliers are unable to provide replenishment dates. Many homeowners then

turn to composite deck boards such as Trex to try to get their deck projects completed. This shift from pressure treated to composite materials is now affecting the availability of composite deck boards. Trex is not able to release trucks of product fast enough to keep suppliers stocked with all of the materials necessary to build a deck in all of the available colors. Contractors are now finding it necessary to adjust building schedules to accommodate projects with materials that are available first, while other homeowners’ projects are being delayed, regardless of who purchased first. It sometimes becomes necessary for a contractor to source materials from multiple suppliers to get everything they need for a deck project. This is even further compounded with the lumber shortage, which is driving pricing and lead times further up and out.

Extend your living space into the outdoors! Get started today and give your family a space they'll love! Call DDT Home Transformations at 630-200-3945 or visit our website: to schedule your estimate!


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