June 23, 2021

How To Manage Lumber Costs With Commercial Handyman Repair Services

As we’re sure you know by now, the price of lumber skyrocketed upwards of 300% due to the pandemic. And, it’s not just lumber: everything from drywall to foam insulation and beyond is more expensive today than it was at the start of 2020. Everyone in the trades is facing this crisis. So how can facility managers save on lumber costs with handyman repair services?  

The four best ways for the handyman repair industry to save on lumber costs are to reevaluate the materials, save scraps, recycle older projects, and to buy in bulk.

Let’s unpack those one at a time.

Consider changing the material to a lower grade

With this tip, we’re not encouraging you to be cheap for the sake of doing so. Rather, it’s more about taking the time to decide where to save on materials. For example, OSB (oriented strand board) has five different grades. The project you’re working on may not require the highest grade OSB, especially if it won’t be visible.

Save everything

Speaking of OSB, with the current price of lumber don’t throw any of it away. Consider a flat roofing project. The OSB boards from Project A will most likely need to be cut down to size in some spots. Save those scraps and use them on Project B. Or, perhaps you could save the scraps from Projects A, B, C, and D and use the extra on Project E.

We understand that a roof needs to be structurally sound. However, unless the customer is planning to walk on it, using decently sized left over pieces of OSB from prior projects makes good sense. This can help you, a roofing contractor in the handyman repair services industry, save on lumber — and potentially even pass that savings on to a customer who is in a financial pinch themselves.

Consider reclaimed wood

This is actually two tips in one. Depending on the role of a handyman repair services expert, the first one might not apply to you (but the second one will). 

As a general tip, don’t overlook pallets. Pallets are an easy way to recycle wood into something new. For example, one homeowner wanted a small privacy fence installed. The solution? Pallets, either broken down or kept whole and used as the “walls” of their simple fence. It’s creative and visually distinctive from anything else their neighbors have.

For general contractors, consider reclaimed barn wood. Before lumber prices went through the roof, this was ironically the more expensive option. However today, if you’re willing to demolish the barn for the homeowner, you could use a lot of those materials in a new construction.

With both of these ideas, the point is to find creative ways of using existing materials so that when you do have purchase lumber, it’s less painful on your checkbook.

Consider buying in bulk

This last tip may require a little bit of investigative work on your part. Some smaller lumber mills may be willing to work directly with a local contractor for bulk orders (the larger ones typically partner with retailers). For example, if you know you have several new builds coming up, it’s possible that they would cut you a deal for a large order today.

The downside is that you would have to upfront the cost right now. However, the upside is twofold. One, you’d have a large supply to work from as the lumber shortages continue. And two, you’re insulated from additional price increases down the road.  

Save money on handyman repair services and lumber prices with creative thinking!

Each answer we gave today — reevaluating materials, saving scraps, recycling older projects, and buying in bulk — may be new to you. We get that. Trust us. But with a little bit of ingenuity, you can find creative ways to work around the current shortage and bide some time until markets stabilize down the road.


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