Posted on: 11 November 2022Share
Lumber shortages persist even as prices start to fall, and while the lumber supply will eventually grow again, in the meantime, trying to get the lumber you need can be tough. There are ways to deal with the shortage, though, and get the lumber you need for your projects. It may still take time, but the more you do, the more lumber you'll eventually find.
Look for Suppliers With Their Own Mills
Some suppliers have their own mills, and some don't. Both types can offer substantial lumber supplies, and you don't have to avoid either of them. But if you're not already buying from suppliers who have their own mills, especially domestic mills, start doing so. When suppliers have their own mills, they have a much better idea of when they'll have more lumber ready to ship. There's no intermediate step where a separate mill has to coordinate with the supplier to get the supplies to them, or where you're dealing with a third-party somewhere that may or may not be able to fulfill orders by the time they receive yours.
Look for Multiple Suppliers
You'll have to diversify your list of suppliers because sticking with the one or two you've counted on for years is only going to remain difficult until the shortage eases. It will eventually ease, of course, but in the meantime, contact multiple suppliers and get at least a couple more that you will buy from if they have supplies. Different suppliers work with different mills, so expanding your attention will only help. And, look at types of wood that you might normally not consider. That will increase the amount of wood that you can choose from.
Be Constantly on the Lookout for Available Lumber
A lot of lumber acquisition now relies on just keeping an eye on suppliers and their inventory. You need to have funds ready to buy more lumber when it becomes available, and you should monitor backorder times as well as many suppliers are still just trying to keep up with those. This is a time to get your inventory tracking system streamlined if you haven't already so that you can accurately gauge when to order more lumber given your remaining supplies and suppliers' inventories.
You'd be forgiven for wanting to grab all the lumber you could when you find it. It's not helpful to hoard, and do keep in mind that part of the shortage has to do with the initial slowdown in production by mills when the pandemic started. That means that eventually the lumber supply will ease up, and you won't have to watch suppliers like a hawk for new shipments from mills. In the meantime, take it day by day and diversify your sources for lumber.
Contact a lumber supplier to learn more.