‘What I’m hearing is this is the new norm’: Lumber, building material costs on the rise

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BUTLER, Tenn. (WJHL) – Local construction and hardware suppliers say costs for raw materials like lumber, paint and copper are soaring.

Katie Shoun, co-owner of Shoun Lumber, said prices for her lumber is almost doubling.

“Stuff that we sell here went from anywhere between 50 cents a board foot,” Shoun said. “Now, we’re on up closer to 80 cents or a dollar a foot, so even double.”

Shoun said those looking to build a house in the Tri-Cities should be aware of the expense.

“It’s going to be a lot more expensive than it would have been, say a year and a half, two years ago,” Shoun said. “But, what I’m hearing is this is the new norm.”

Shoun said she thinks the price jump could be due to stimulus checks and more people moving to the area.

Sutton Brown, Browns Hardware & Grocery owner, said he’s also seeing rises in materials like paint, aluminum and copper.

“There’s a lot of interesting economics, taking place right now, that is going to be filtering down through the system,” Brown said. “The fact that we had to close some of the manufacturing areas because of the COVID virus, has impacted a lot of the industry.”

Brown said he’s seen paint prices going up about 10%, so depending on the size of the can that could be a one dollar or two dollar price jump.

“What I’m hearing is this is the new norm,” Shoun said. “I was expecting prices to come back down and things to level off, but it’s appearing that this is where it’s going to stay.”

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