If you haven’t shopped for lumber recently, you’re in for a shock at how expensive a board is these days. According to Fixr, a site that tracks remodeling and construction trends, prices on some types of lumber have soared 430 percent since March 2020. Thanks to an industry slowdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, runaway lumber costs are driving up the costs of both new home construction and remodeling projects.
Outrageous wood prices are affecting DIYers, too, forcing many to postpone around-the-house projects that are now too expensive to undertake. Don’t pack away that hammer and saw just yet, though: Here’s how you can save money on wood and keep your projects on track.
Substitute a Lower-Grade Wood—or a Different Wood Altogether
Hardwood and sheet materials, such as plywood and OSB, are graded based on quality. If the wood you’re using in your project won’t be visible, you may not need wood that’s top grade. If you’re building a doghouse or storage shed, for example, the plywood used for sheathing will be hidden beneath the siding, so it doesn’t make sense to buy the highest-grade, most expensive stuff. A lower-grade sheet material can cost up to 40 percent less, and will be just as structurally sound.
Using less expensive wood in place of higher-dollar wood can help you save big bucks, too. Rather than building a deck from cedar, which gives many shoppers sticker shock these days, use treated lumber—the substitution can save…