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design thinkers


As the fourth quarter begins, SLAM Construction Services continues to monitor cost changes, lead times and trends in local construction materials. This summer saw an unprecedented rise in lumber materials due to the uncertainties of COVID-19 that continue to affect the market. Our estimating team has been communicating weekly with local subcontractors to monitor and update the latest trends to better educate our designers, owners and consultants.

Raw Materials

Overall raw materials remain steady with petroleum showing a slight decline this month after staying consistently high over the summer.

Construction Materials

Pricing on lumber and plywood is continuing to rise, although at a more moderate rate than past months. The CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) is forecasting lumber futures to drop dramatically in the next few weeks.

Due to historic price increases in lumber, there are 4-6 week delays of lumber derived products being felt at the retailers, particularly on pressure treated materials. EPDM suppliers are reporting no inventory delays and state that the $.50/sq. ft. price is oftentimes lower on big jobs.

The light gauge metal framing (LGMF) supplier reports that a 10% price increase will go into effect as of 10/5/20 and the steel coil shop reports that they have been advised that the mills are going to increase the cost of steel coil by $.10 – $.15/lb. as soon as their current inventories are depleted.  Potentially a 20-30% increase.

MEP Equipment

SLAM CS is not seeing any change in the bid day quotes but has noticed a price reduction for jobs that have been awarded and are ready to start.  Continued uncertainty is causing manufacturers to chase larger orders and electrical continues to have long-term lead times with little movement in pricing.

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