Nunavut Post

Lumber costs are down, but everything else is up, say Yukon builders

Nunavut

Key takeaways: 

  • Inflation and fuel costs mean prices are up for nearly everything required to construct or renovate.
  • Rob Fordham, president of Kilrich Industries in Whitehorse, states that most cargo carriers are now adding a 30 percent fuel tax, contributing to the increasing price of construction materials.

It’s shaping up to be a busy building season in Yukon, not because building prices are going down. Yukoners are being told to be ready to spend more for nearly everything they require to construct or renovate a house.

The only things that appear to have come down the previous year are lumber costs, says Rob Fordham, president of Kilrich Industries, a building-supply dealer in Whitehorse. 

“The lumber market struck record highs, astronomical levels, back in June, July of the prior year. And then it dried up,” Fordham told.

For instance, he says a sheet of half-inch plywood was going for as much as $90 or $95 last summer, compared to around $60 now.

That’s still up very much from pre-pandemic costs, Fordham says. And most everything else is up as well.

Also read: Whiterse council waives bus fares till July

Yukoners are being told to be ready to spend more for nearly everything they require to construct or renovate a house

“A lot of the other features that we deliver, such as drywall and insulation and fasteners and siding and roofing, those costs on those kinds of materials have persisted in rising over the previous two years,” he says.

“There’s been no reduction there — they’re only up.”

Fordham says record-high fuel costs and a nationwide trucker shortage mean it’s neither inexpensive nor easy to get supplies shipped North. 

“I mean, pretty much every carrier is charging a 30 percent fuel taxation,” he said.

‘Hey, you’ve got to double that’

For builder John Vogt of Whitehorse’s Vogt Homes, earnings margins get a little tighter, and he ought to find ways to be more efficient with materials. But Whitehorse’s white-hot housing market means he’s still turning earnings. 

Source – cbc.ca

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