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Local lumber company benefits from pressure-treated wood shortage

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COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Pressure-treated wood is in high demand, and one local lumber company tells Eyewitness News that they’re doing whatever they can to meet the need.

The wood, according to Financial Controller at Finetco Sean Finnegan, is typically used outdoors to build decks, fences and railings.

“Pressure-treated wood is a Southern Yellow Pine that goes through a process that is actually penetrated with a chemical that gives it longevity, gives it the rot resistant,” Finnegan said. “As people start to do home projects, especially outdoors, pressure-treated wood is a staple of what they need to use.”

But right now, pressure-treated wood is hard to find.

“I see a lot of people looking for, especially decking, pressure-treated 2-by-10’s. A lot of people have been calling me and asking me where to go,” Owner of Trust Construction Corp. Ryan DiFranco said.

Finetco is family owned and operated and is the parent company of Coventry Lumber. The local lumber company was bought by the Finnegan’s in 2012.

“Everyone in the family’s heavily involved,” Finnegan said. “The company has been around since 1969.”

Evan Finnegan, Finetco’s buyer, said in late-March, the mills of Southern Yellow Pine cut back on their production levels.

“The demand was very low,” he said. “The production levels were low and the sales were just not there.”

Evan said the coronavirus pandemic changed that. He believes homeowners began using the money that they would typically set aside for vacation to fund home improvement projects.

In early April, Evan said sales began to pick back up.

“Ever since then, we can’t get our hands on pressured-treated fast enough,” Evan said. “As soon as it comes into the lumber yard, it goes out just as quick.”

“May started to get some traction, and then June rolled into very busy month,” Sean added. ” June we’re on track, and if we continue down this road, we’re going to have our largest June in company history.”

Due to the shortage, Sean said they’ve been offering other building material options to customers when pressure-treated wood is unavailable.

“If you’re looking to complete that project and you don’t want to wait on the pressure treated, we have the resources and the products that we can help you with,” Sean said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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