Lumber prices skyrocket during the pandemic

Items like lumber paint, copper, and other materials used to build and improve homes have seen their prices skyrocket since the beginning of the pandemic.

"It's tripled since then since COVID started," said Phil Formisano, owner of Americana Contracting.

For Formisano, the spring is generally his busiest time of year, but this year hes' been forced to raise his prices just to meet the demand.

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"What happens is if I go to use straight lumber and the costs is so high to estimate a job, I have to explain to them that this lumber cost and how the build wants to be built is more expensive," Formisano said.

The price of lumber is nearly 200% of what it was a year ago, as Americans stuck in and around their own homes take on home improvement projects during the pandemic.

YouTube home renovation star Jeff Thorman told FOX 5 NY that, with the demand for lumber so high, most people buying now are just overspending and would be better off waiting.

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"Find a different project," Thorman said. "This is not a great year to start a project that's affected by the supply chain."

But if you must build a home or remodel it this year, there are alternatives to save you a lot of money.

"You can change your windows, you can put in new siding, you can do landscaping, berms, build a patio," Thorman said.

But if you insist on using wood, don't expect the price to drop anytime soon.

"It's probably not going to get better this year," Formisano said. "It'll probably go up before it goes down."

This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Jeff Thorman's name.