Decks are one of the most popular additions to any home, apartment building, or even office. An outdoor space like a deck or a porch is the perfect place to host your summer BBQs, enjoy some time outside, or simply relax during the warmer months. The two most common types of decks are wood decks and composite board decks. Typically, when we discuss the pros and cons of one material against the other the same conversation usually crops up: composite is better for durability, lasts longer, and is easier to maintain, however, the price is higher than working with a wood deck. Wood decks have always been known as the cost-effective option. But now in 2021, that may no longer be the case.
Wood Prices Have More Than Doubled in 2021
The pandemic has had countless effects on the world. And those effects stretch to commerce and trade. For over the last year the prices for lumber have been increasing dramatically. The price per thousand board feet of lumber hit an all-time high of $1,188 in April of 2021, compared to under $500 in June of 2020. The price of lumber still hasn’t found its ceiling yet either. Although this steep increase is finally causing the demand to decrease due to sticker shock, there are still economists who are concerned the price will rise before it falls.
What Caused Lumber Prices To Increase So Dramatically?
As we all learned in basic economics, any material product or service derives its value from supply and demand. When supply is high and demand is low, prices drop. During the pandemic, many lumberyards were shut down due to COVID-19 regulations. This means a severely decreased supply of lumber for months on end. At first, this wasn’t a huge concern because as the supply dropped so did the demand. The uncertainty of the pandemic in those early months led to the postponement of many contracting and construction projects. But by the end of the summer, and with the help of the stimulus bill, the demand returned while the supply didn’t. Millions of Americans bought lumber throughout the summer for DIY projects and home remodeling. Many small businesses did as well. With an increase in demand and no increase in supply, prices started to rise and haven’t stopped rising. As more businesses opened up during the pandemic, and more individuals received stimulus checks, the demand for lumber continued to spike.
What Does This Mean For Decking in 2021?
If you are looking to repair your deck, add an addition, or build a new deck from scratch, this may be the best year to get a composite board deck. A while back we wrote an article on which decking material you should choose. When it comes to pricing, composite decking has always been more expensive, but homeowners and contractors would recommend it because it was worth it in the long run. Composite decking is resistant to UV light, pests, weather conditions, and just generally lasts longer. Composite decking adds more value to a home than a wooden deck and requires much less maintenance. But the cost was always a sticking point. This year composite decking may actually be the cheaper option. So if you are looking to use a stimulus check on installing a deck, get the material that is higher quality and more cost effective.
Deck Repair & Replacement in Massachusetts
Another question we have been hearing from clients this spring is what should I do if I already have a wood deck but it is damaged? Even in a normal year, contactors will often recommend deck replacement services after a certain period of time. The average wood deck can only last so many years before repairing and maintaining it is less cost-effective than replacing it. This summer might be the perfect time to plan a deck replacement project. If you have minor damage to a newer wooden deck, you can probably get by with repairs, but expect those repairs to be higher cost than they would have been last summer. If you have a lot of repairs and maintenance, consider asking for a quote on a brand new deck. For a free quote in your area