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Lumber Prices in Canada: Fence/Deck & Home Building Impact


Over the past few years, the lumber industry in Canada has been faced with unprecedented challenges, leading to soaring lumber prices that have had far-reaching consequences for various sectors. From the initial surge in demand driven by the COVID-19 pandemic to supply chain disruptions and environmental factors, the Canadian lumber market has experienced significant fluctuations. In this in-depth blog post, we will conduct a thorough analysis of the current state of lumber prices in Canada, exploring whether there are signs of relief. Additionally, we will delve into the intricate ways these fluctuating prices have affected the fence industry, deck industry, and house building sector in the country.


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The Lumber Boom and Supply Shortages

The sudden boom in the Canadian lumber industry began in late 2020 and persisted through early 2021. As lockdown measures forced people to spend more time at home, the demand for home renovations and new constructions skyrocketed. Additionally, the do-it-yourself (DIY) culture gained momentum, as more homeowners took up various home improvement projects. This surge in demand significantly impacted the lumber market, leading to a rapid increase in prices.


However, this price surge was exacerbated by several supply chain disruptions. Sawmills and processing plants were temporarily shut down due to COVID-19 outbreaks, causing production delays and reduced supply. Transportation challenges further added to the complexities, leading to distribution bottlenecks and supply shortages.



Factors Contributing to Lumber Price Surge

a. Pandemic-related Demand: The increased time spent at home during lockdowns, coupled with a desire for more comfortable living spaces, led to a surge in home renovation projects and new home constructions. This unprecedented demand placed immense pressure on the lumber supply chain, driving prices to record levels.


b. Supply Chain Disruptions: The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on global supply chains, impacting various industries, including lumber production. Shutdowns and labor shortages at sawmills and processing plants affected the overall output of lumber, further exacerbating supply shortages and price increases.


c. Forest Fires and Climate Change: In addition to the pandemic-related challenges, Canada also faced severe forest fires in certain regions, causing damage to vast stretches of forests and impacting lumber production. Climate change-induced factors, such as prolonged droughts and extreme weather events, have also affected the availability of raw materials for lumber production.



Signs of Relief: Are Lumber Prices Coming Down?

As we progress into 2023, there are indications that the Canadian lumber market is gradually stabilizing. Some factors contributing to this potential relief include:


a. Increased Production: Lumber producers have been working tirelessly to increase their production capacities. As sawmills and processing plants resume full operations and production levels stabilize, the lumber supply chain is becoming more resilient.


b. Easing of Supply Chain Disruptions: As the pandemic situation improves and vaccination rates increase, the disruptions in the supply chain are gradually easing. Transportation and logistics have become smoother, allowing for a more consistent flow of lumber to the market.


c. Government Interventions: The Canadian government has taken various measures to support the lumber industry during these challenging times. These interventions aim to stabilize prices, encourage production, and ensure a reliable supply of lumber to meet demand.



Impact on the Fence Industry

The fence industry in Canada faced considerable challenges during the peak of lumber prices. Fence contractors had to navigate the complexities of fluctuating material costs while ensuring they met client expectations and budgets. Many contractors had to adjust their pricing to accommodate the rising costs of lumber, leading to financial strain for both businesses and consumers.


With the potential relief in lumber prices, the fence industry is expected to experience renewed growth. Contractors can now provide more competitive pricing, making fence installations more accessible to homeowners. This positive development is expected to boost the demand for fences, enhancing property security, privacy, and aesthetics.


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Impact on the Deck Industry

The deck industry faced similar challenges to the fence industry, as it heavily relies on lumber for construction. Homeowners planning deck expansions or renovations found themselves facing inflated lumber costs, leading some to postpone or reconsider their projects.


As lumber prices stabilize, the deck industry is expected to see a resurgence. Homeowners can look forward to exploring a wider range of design options and materials without the burden of exorbitant lumber costs. This revival in the deck industry will not only enhance outdoor living spaces but also provide a significant boost to the construction sector.


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Impact on Home Building

The soaring lumber prices posed significant hurdles for the house building industry in Canada. Builders faced tough decisions, as the increased material costs affected overall project budgets and potential profits. As a result, some builders had to reassess their project timelines, and prospective homeowners faced challenges in entering the housing market due to inflated property prices.


With the potential relief in lumber prices, the house building industry may experience a revival in construction activities. Homebuilders can move forward with planned projects, and prospective homeowners may find it more feasible to invest in new homes. This could lead to increased economic activity in the housing market and potentially support a more robust recovery in the broader Canadian economy.




The Canadian lumber market faced unprecedented challenges over the past few years, with soaring prices impacting various industries, including the fence, deck, and house building sectors. The surge in demand driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with supply chain disruptions and environmental factors, led to substantial fluctuations in lumber prices.


However, as we move further into 2023, there are signs of potential relief as lumber prices stabilize. Increased production capacities, easing of supply chain disruptions, and government interventions are contributing to this positive development. This stabilization offers hope for a brighter future in crucial sectors of the Canadian economy, including the fence industry, deck industry, and house building sector.


While the situation remains subject to market fluctuations, the potential for a more stable lumber market will allow homeowners, contractors, and builders to plan their projects more confidently, ensuring safer, more beautiful, and more affordable living spaces for all Canadians.

Nunzio Romeo at 3:18 PM
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Name: Nunzio Romeo
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Last Post: May 8, 2024

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