February Market Update

Mar 19, 2014

Pinterest Barn
A residence inspired by a barn from Pinterest (Photo : Pinterest)

Is it spring yet? After enduring the worst winter in over thirty years, everyone—especially those working outside—are ready for both temperatures and the industry to heat up. As you’ll read below, the gradual ascent to the hustle and bustle of spring building activity has just begun and is reflected subtly in prices and demand. It’s important to remember we’re only two years into rebounding from the recession, making the management of supply and demand unpredictable. Make sure to work closely with your sales representative and plan ahead for your sizeable spring projects.

Cost of Framing Materials

The acceleration to spring building is just kicking off and already we are seeing a small elevation in the price of framing materials when compared to last month. The good news, prices are still 7% lower than those recorded last year by the end of February. This difference can most likely be attributed to last year’s dynamic shift in activity from a long-standing lull to the robust reemergence in activity and the scrambling that occurred as a result. The demand may have ignited a rebound, but suppliers, mills and the job market needed more time to react. This year, while some uncertainty remains, prices reflect more confidence in timing, inventory and availability.

Japan Adds Douglas Fir to Incentive Program

Last year, Japan’s Forestry Agency introduced a Wood Use Points Program, providing monetary incentive to homebuilders who use more than 50% domestic species in their build. Japan’s Forestry Agency, with the help of other nations including Canada, New Zealand and others, applied to add Douglas Fir to the list of approved species. According to Random Lengths, it is now the only foreign species approved to be eligible for the program due to its sustainability (particularly in the U.S.) and its positive impact on the rural agriculture, forestry, and fisheries communities.

Eye on Design: The Barn-Saving Movement

Vintage, rustic, shabby chic, up-cycled—all are words freely flowing from the mouths of designers and homebuyers across the nation. Many builders are familiar with the trend of recycling old barn doors to replace traditional doorways in new homes, but now, an extreme version of that trend is emerging. Turns out, there are more desirable qualities to a barn than it’s door. Builders and DIY homeowners alike are now restoring entire barns into rustic, contemporary living spaces. The trend is gaining so much ground it’s being referred to by some as the “barn-saving movement.” Find out more, and view photos of various barn restorations on