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Carpenter: I’m still paying nearly double for building supplies

Business News

COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Michael Caracciolo, owner of Caracciolo Carpentry, was picking up materials for an upcoming project when he noticed something at the register: his total was significantly higher than usual.

Caracciolo said in his 22 years of business, he’s never seen the cost of building materials this high.

“They were crazy,” Caracciolo said of the prices. “Everything is double. A two-by-four used to be $3.50, and it’s now $7. I just bought a box of shingles, usually it’s $150, and I paid $270.”

Evan Finnegan, financial controller at Finetco, said lumber prices change from week to week, and for the past several months, those prices have been steadily on the rise.

“Anywhere from 25% to nearly doubled,” he said. “Over the course of the last few months, those 5-10 cent increases every week end up being something large at the end.”

Finetco owns Coventry Lumber and several other lumber yards in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Back in June, 12 News reported that hardware stores were struggling keep up with the demand for pressure-treated wood.

Finnegan said the logistics of moving material across the nation, coupled with product supply and a huge spike in demand, could be what’s causing the price hike.

“Mills were using maybe half the crew that they normally would be using at that time, and then when business came back so strong, they didn’t have the crew there to produce and meet the demand,” Finnegan said.

Finnegan the extreme weather occurring nationwide may also be affecting mill production.

“There was a fire out west, which obviously had an effect on some of the mills because they weren’t able to manufacture any of the items, and hurricanes as well play a role,” Finnegan said.

Finnegan said within the last two weeks, prices have started trending downward, but it’s unclear whether it’ll stay that way.

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