CHICOPEE, Mass. - Rich Rivet started in the construction business 22 years ago.
His company, Cedar Falls Construction, LLC, has built more than 150 homes and completed more than 300 custom additions.
"Over the course of my entire building career, I have never seen such volatile prices. Lumber as a commodity fluctuates with the market. This is unprecedented," said Rivet. "The cost of roofing, the cost of siding materials, the cost of windows, they are all significantly up."
According to the National Association of Home Builders, lumber prices jumped by almost 180% over the last year. Rivet said the increase affects both the homeowner and the builder.
"Over the last six months when we initially bid this project, the price was $45,000 and change for lumber. I had it priced out this morning for the same apples for apples project and we are up at $57,000," said Rivet.
The coronavirus pandemic it to blame. When lumber mills had to shut down and production stopped, there were fewer truckers on the road transporting materials and right now, the demand for lumber is still greater than the supply.
"We are literally robbing Peter to pay Paul from one job to the next," said Rivet. "We are calling every vendor and supplier that we know to try and assist us. Our supplies in the Northeast are pretty darn good about getting product to us, but if it's not there, it is not there."
Rivet is hopeful as COVID-19 cases drop, so too will his price to do business.
"The good news is with the lessening of limitations upon what we can do in society right now, the production is increasing at a dramatic pace and I believe we are starting to get back to normalcy," Rivet said.