Like many businesses that are “open for business”, Rona is one of many local retailers looking forward to getting back on track after the financial constraints of the past 18 months. While some costs of construction have dropped in recent weeks, not everything in the industry is back to what is considered the average norm. On August 11, Natural Resources Canada’s benchmark pricing index lists 2x4 eastern spruce-pine-fir (Canadian dollars) with a market value of $670/1000 board feet, down from $685 on July 30, and at almost half the cost of the 52 week average of $1233. OSB board, a hot commodity during the home renovation trend of 2020 is down to roughly $32/sheet, not back to pre-COVID prices, but getting closer. Not all materials have taken significant changes just yet, some products, like treated lumber used for building decks, will most likely not show big changes for roughly another six months, due to the cost of treating the wood at the time of production. Next spring will most likely be the soonest a substantial price change happens in those materials.
Rona store owner Patrick Willis and his team recently made the decision to “follow the market and help stimulate some local projects to proceed.” This has allowed the store to lower the prices of some of the raw material stock they have in store and a few local projects to get back to work. Willis stated that some materials are still costly, however, and in high demand, so can be hard to obtain. Many metal and steel products such as siding for aluminum buildings are not only hard to get but also experiencing multiple cost increases this fiscal year, anywhere from a 10 to 20 per cent per increase. Wait times for some material to be delivered have not changed, and he finds he is shopping around for suppliers more than usual as some of the businesses they dealt with no longer exist due to financial constraints during the pandemic lockdowns.