• Thu. Aug 11th, 2022

Supplies dwindle amid COVID bridge building craze

When the COVID-19 emergency declaration was issued in March, vacation travel stopped and many New Brunswickers were sent home to work.

No one really knew what to expect in terms of the impact on the economy, but the forecast was not good.

So an overwhelming demand for building materials this spring and summer has caught everyone off guard.

Contractors and DIY enthusiasts are looking for things like plywood and pressure-treated lumber.

“It’s certainly unusual,” said Mike O’Donnell, president of Marwood, a manufacturer of pressure treated lumber in Tracyville, New Brunswick. “No one knew how to react to the virus and everyone thought the opposite.”

O’Donnell says lead times for his customers, building supply stores, have been pushed back “by a week or two,” but trucks are leaving every day to try to keep up with demand.

“It’s just a shame that so many people want everything at the same time,” he said.

Mike O’Donnell, President of Marwood in Tracyville, NB: “It’s unfortunate that so many people want it all at the same time. “ (Nicolas Steinbach, Radio-Canada)

At Hampton Home Hardware, store manager Brian Boudreau said the demand for treated lumber for decks and other backyard projects is five times what it would be in a typical year.

“It’s amazing to be honest because I’ve been doing this for a long time,” said Boudreau. “The numbers that I saw in this particular store were huge, I’ve never seen it before. I think if you ask the same question in any other construction store, they’ll say the same thing. The numbers were confidential. “

Boudreau said his store currently has treated lumber.

Like Marwood’s O’Donnell, Boudreau also attributes the boom to families saving money on winter trips and spending so much time at home.

“They had nowhere to go,” he said.

Rheal Guimond of Guimond Builders Ltd in Rothesay said it was difficult to find the materials he needed for his new builds and renovations, making it difficult for clients to price jobs.

The news, he said, is the same every time he stops at building supply stores.

“The guys in the yard tell me they’re running out and there’s no one to deliver [to the stores] more.”

Plywood also in demand

An email obtained by CBC Nova Scotia informed sales staff at Kent Building Supply stores of the lack of availability of wood products such as plywood and treated lumber.

“The huge increase in sales has completely stripped the supply chain,” the post from Tim Liengme, Kent District Sales Manager, said last week.

Liengme noted that there is no plywood supply available for stores in the Atlantic region and replacement supplies from Western Canada will take five to six weeks.

Kent Building Supplies’ parent company, JD Irving Ltd., does not manufacture plywood or pressure treated lumber.

“We are working to resolve the plywood and pressure-treated lumber supply issue as soon as possible and appreciate the patience of our local consumers and contractors,” said JDI spokesperson Mary Keith.

Source link