Timber! Abilene roofer, homebuilders happy to see lumber prices falling

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – After a spike in lumber prices, one Abilene roofer says prices are starting to get back to normal.

“Well, it was a gamble, and I lost,” said Eric Silva, co-owner of Barr Residential Roofing Services. 

Silva says he’s experienced the ups and downs of lumber prices firsthand. 

“My lumber package alone, it was about $30,000 over than what my lumber package was expected to be,” said Silva. 

Not only is lumber a crucial part of his career, but he is also needing it to build his own home. 

“I bought at the peak of lumber costs,” said Silva. 

Before the price increased during the onset of the pandemic, lumber in the area was about $9 per sheet, or OSB. At the height of the price spike, OSB cost $50-60, which is the price Silva paid. Now, the price is around $17 per OSB. 

Jeremy McBrayer, incoming president for the Big Country Home Builders Association says home building did not slow down, but it did become more expensive. 

“With interest rates being so low, you’re not seeing any sort of slowdown at all, we are selling them as fast as we can build them,” said McBrayer. 

With all the new jobs coming to Abilene, such as Great Lakes Cheese and Amazon, McBrayer says building is picking up.

“There’s a lot of development in the Wylie area, there’s Heritage Park just opened phase 10 on the north side, so you’ll see some more in Abilene,” said McBrayer. “I think with the new schools that Abilene has built you’re going to see some more activity there, especially with ACU.”

Silva says right now is a better time to build since the housing market is hot, interest rates are low, and lumber has returned to a more reasonable price.

He does say the price of roofing shingles has gone up.  

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