FORT WORTH -- With both supply and demand pressed by natural disasters, lumber prices are increasing and experts say that will be felt in the construction industry in North Texas.
"We'll see an increase in prices for sure, there's no question about that," said Jim Teague, longtime owner of Teague Lumber in Fort Worth.
Teague Lumber is now sending out a bulletin to customers to warn them of a likely increase in supply prices. Lumber prices had already risen significantly according to industry reports, and now they are being pushed higher by two major hurricanes and restricted supply due to wildfires in the timber-rich Pacific Northwest, home to many mills.
"The big thing, really, is availability," said Teague. "The volume on the coast of all the damage there, the volume of material that will be used there, that creates a problem."
There is a huge demand for plywood in particular, for rebuilding and also for boarding up windows in Florida and further up the East Coast ahead of Hurricane Irma.
Paul Teague said that already, prices on some plywood and sheetrock have risen 15 percent in the last few weeks, a trend he expects to continue. He is also hearing from his customers about disruptions to the labor market. Day laborers in Houston are reportedly earning $150 a day to clear debris, and Teague said that's pulling some workers from North Texas to head south.
"All the work that they want, and you're going to see more and more of them heading out of here," he said. "And you know, already there's a shortage [of labor.]"
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