Will the Cost of Building Materials Go Down Anytime Soon? 5 Items That Already Are

Building or renovating a house is expensive, but increased building materials costs have delayed many homeowners’ plans. Now, the tides are turning, allowing you to get your dream remodeling projects back on track.

Expenses are still high in some areas, but the cost of many crucial building supplies is decreasing or is projected to in the future. 

Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that personally matches homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura & San Diego with reliable general contractors, we talk to homeowners every day about remodeling projects and building materials – here’s what to know as you restart your plans.

Why Building Materials Costs Rise

building materials cost

Material prices naturally rise and fall throughout the year due to supply and demand. The more consumers want an item, the more expensive it will be. You’ll likely find lower prices during times when building in general is slow. 

However, the COVID-19 pandemic caused inflation of these materials, as the global shutdown forced the industry to cease operations. The National Association of Homebuilders says closed mills and increased demand for do-it-yourself items contributed to rising prices through the pandemic. 

At the same time, companies and customers faced financial struggles, making it harder to produce and purchase those products. 

Skyrocketing prices came to a peak in 2021. Thankfully, the cost of many crucial building materials is decreasing and projects are back on track. 

Related: How To Get an Accurate Construction Estimate on Your Renovation

5 Building Materials With Lowering Prices

lumber

There is good news if you have put off a project in the last few years. Prices for many materials are stabilizing due to the right balance of supply and demand. Here are five that could be in your budget once again. 

1. Lumber

Lumber prices finally stabilized early this year. The material cost dropped from its peak pricing during the height of the pandemic. Production tanked during the global shutdown, forcing people to cancel plans for home repairs and build new ones.

At the time, house prices rose to unexpected levels, and people looking to build instead didn’t have much better luck finding affordable options. That’s all changed now. After a remarkable price dip during the fall of 2022, lumber costs are rising to meet the increased demand of people returning to their everyday lives. 

2. Solar

solar panels

One of the most affordable energy options for long-term users is now cheaper to purchase upfront. Solar energy offers significant savings to homeowners after initial installation, but the panels are now becoming available to a wider market. 

Over the past year, panel prices decreased partially due to the lowering cost of silicon, which is the main material used in solar panel production. This decrease corresponds with falling demand in China, where many silicon-based products are produced. Now is a fantastic time to improve your energy costs and sustainability.

Related: Best Luxury Additions For Your Home 2023

3. Asphalt Shingles

Roofing prices are high, but the cost of asphalt shingles dropped in January 2023, making them much more affordable than their peak price in mid-December 2022.

This is an excellent time to replace loose or broken shingles to protect your home from spring and summer storms. 

4. Steel

steel

Steel prices had a significant decline in January 2023. Though it’s projected to rise steadily through the year, it will remain more stable than pandemic price hikes. 

The price decreased at the end of February compared to just a few days before, reflecting the start of stabilization. 

5. Brick

brick

Brick prices are decreasing thanks to declining demand. Fewer people are building and renovating their homes than during the pandemic, and increased manufacturing should stabilize prices soon. 

Current Market Influences

transportation

Lingering economic issues are still being resolved, keeping some prices high. 

Fewer Workers

Over 1 million workers left the construction industry during the pandemic, leading to a significant skilled labor shortage. There are still more than 650,000 job vacancies throughout the United States. The market should recover more as these positions are filled, reducing the cost of more materials. 

Related: How to Find The Right General Contractors For Any Project

Transportation

Transportation also influences material prices. The trucking industry is also looking to fill a significant amount of jobs. Tens of thousands of driver vacancies make it challenging to transport items, and when stores can’t procure enough demanded materials, it’s hard to lower prices. As trucking recovers, so should the building sector. 

Weather

weather

Hurricane Ian significantly impacted drywall and insulation distribution. This and other weather conditions can impede industry recovery, but this should get better as storm recovery and preventive measures improve. 

Global Events

World events can also affect the material supply chain. The war in Ukraine impacts the export prices of copper, aluminum, and other materials. Prices should come down as countries recover. 

Some Building Material Prices Remain High for Now

materials

Some materials are still recovering from pandemic price hikes. Though they are not yet inexpensive, continued progress makes stabilization inevitable. 

Concrete

concrete

Concrete prices are still increasing. Ready-mix concrete began rising in 2020 and has continued since. 

Limestone, which is used to make concrete, is abundant, but manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the large demand. Tariffs on concrete imports to Japan are another contributing factor. 

Drywall

Mined gypsum makes drywall and scarcity of the material more expensive. Multiple countries imposed mining restrictions, making it much harder to produce. There is also increased global demand. 

The good news is that demand is expected to increase, meaning prices should decrease soon. 

Copper

Copper prices saw a significant rise at the end of 2022, partially due to world events and a boost in demand from the newly reopened economy in China. Demand is expected to decrease through early summer, providing better purchase opportunities before increasing again. 

Builders Embracing Alternative Materials

With the supply of some materials struggling to meet demand, manufacturers are beginning to produce and utilize innovative alternatives that create a similar result and are often better for the environment. 

Bamboo

bamboo

Bamboo is among the incredibly sturdy building materials used for commercial and residential properties. Although it’s been a popular material in Asian countries where bamboo is native, it’s recently grown in popularity across the United States and Europe. 

It’s a fast-growing plant that can easily be replanted. This makes it an excellent choice for future building projects. 

Stucco

This traditional material is resistant to fire and is popular for rooftops in the south. However, it can also be used to coat buildings throughout the country. 

Traditional stucco is long-lasting and extremely durable, made of cement, lime, and sand. 

Recycled Steel

Did you know that the quality of steel doesn’t decrease with age? Recycled steel is a sustainably produced material rising in popularity that saves energy and costs. 

Recycled steel allows you to create your dream home without paying as much or harming the environment with new steel production. 

Building Your Dream Home in 2023

As the effects of the pandemic continue to dissipate, the lowered cost of building materials makes it possible to resume your dream build or renovation. Take advantage of these reduced prices and stretch your remodeling budget to get the most bang for your buck in-home projects.

Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that personally matches homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura & San Diego with reliable general contractors, we talk to homeowners every day about remodeling projects and building materials – here’s what to know as you restart your plans.

 

Call us at (818.317.3567) or visit our website to be connected with a trustworthy, experienced contractor in Southern California for your home remodel.

Author:

Rose Morrison is a home & construction writer from Pittsburgh, PA. She’s the managing editor of Renovated, a web magazine for the real estate industry. She’s most interested in sharing home projects and inspiration for the most novice of DIY-ers, values she developed growing up in a family of contractors.

Hi, we're Paul and Jon - Co-Founders of GreatBuildz. We believe everyone deserves to find a great contractor, have a stress-free renovation, and enjoy their beautiful new space. There are so many contractors out there and it's often hard to tell the good from the bad... until it's too late. We started our company to help simplify your contractor search and help you have a stress-free renovation experience. We're always available to help, no matter where you are in the process. Click here to learn more about our story.

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