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Rising lumber costs impact Tallahassee charities with construction projects

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — Soaring lumber costs are proving to be a challenge for organizations like Big Bend Habitat for Humanity, as many of their construction projects have been put on hold.

Compared to last year’s price, the cost of wood has quadrupled.

Big Bend Habitat for Humanity executive director Antoine Wright said different factors played into the high lumber costs. One is that COVID-19 has impacted factory production and

As the cost of lumber continues to rise, so do the rising costs of construction projects.

Wright said that in the past, two-by-fours were around $2.50, and now they see that going up to $8.

“Imagine that multiplied,” Wright said. “We need hundreds of two-by-fours to build a house. On average, we’ve seen an increase of about $12,000 to $15,000, sometimes even $18,000, on the tiny homes we build.

Wright told WCTV that there are different factors that affect the rising cost of building a home. He said the pandemic has limited production at sawmills and there is a record shortage of timber from Canada, their main supplier.

The pandemic has also cost them volunteers, forcing the organization to pay contractors instead. Wright added that a typical build would take around 13 weeks, but they may need to fundraise in the community to complete the projects.

“So we’re still in the same time cycle, but I think the difference is like the funding,” Wright explained. “So the ability to manage the limited funds that we get and spread them over those higher labor and material costs at this point.”

Wright also mentioned that they will wait for lumber costs to come down, but he doesn’t expect costs to come down anytime soon. He said they plan to start three new builds over the next month.

If you would like to donate to Big Bend Habitat for Humanity or sign up as a volunteer, you can visit or call them at (850) 574-2288.

Donation checks can also be mailed to: 2921 Roberts Ave, Tallahassee FL, 32310.

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