Lumber store owner and roofing contractor explain high OSB prices // WJFW Newswatch 12

Photo by WJFW Newswatch 12

Story by Morgan Johnson

Local news Published 5/21/2021 4:21 PM
Argonne – “I was born and raised in it,” said Argonne Lumber owner Tony Keepers. “I was collecting trash here when I was twelve.”

30 years around wood and Tony Keepers did not expect anything like this. And so did his father, who first opened Argonne Lumber in 1980.

His words of wisdom were, ‘I’m glad I didn’t have to deal with that.’ No one has seen anything like it, ”said Keepers.

A price increase of 400% for oriental strand board, or OSB. About this time last year, Keepers said OSB blades were around $ 8. Now it is over $ 50 per sheet.

It is not only OSB that follows this trend.

“It’s hard to get a real explanation of why it’s happening, but they’re actually all building materials right now,” said Keepers.

One of Keepers’ observations concerns the housing market. He says more people are building instead of buying.

“They sell a house and then they have to build because they have nowhere else to go,” said Keepers.

But if someone needs OSB to build, they usually hire a contractor like Josh Hunt of Oneida Roof and Chimney. Hunt is a third generation roofer. Despite the high prices, Hunt did not disappoint last year.

“At the worst, people were at home, stories were circulating that people are improving their homes because they are at home,” said Hunt. “They do a deck, they do a kitchen, they do this, that or something else. During the pandemic, construction, the construction industry as a whole was booming; everything was very good.”

Hunt says the market has been up and down in the past year and there is still uncertainty about the future. “We have never, I don’t think in my life, seen the situation we are in at the moment and there are a lot of unknowns,” said Hunt.

One thing that is anything but unknown is that the demand for building materials will always be there, which works in both Hunt’s and Keepers’ favor.

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