As we reference in our most recent post, material availability has dramatically impacted the construction industry lately. And there are a few critical materials that we rely on in our residential construction projects that have been affected. That being said, we think it’s valuable to understand the current status of the various materials in which we rely.

Status update for critical building materials during the Covid-19 pandemic


If you’ve been paying attention to the industry at all, you’re likely already aware of the lumber status. But things went a little haywire with lumber last summer (2020), and they still haven’t settled down. At the moment, many engineered products are hard to find and lumber in general is clocking in at nearly triple the typical price for this time of year. For example, you could get a sheet of plywood for around $7 last year. Today, it would cost you $34. The price continues to surge, bringing us to a whopping 73% increase in the price of lumber from December 2020 to January 2021. To put all of this in context of our own projects, we were recently informed by our lumber supplier that they do not currently have any LVL beams in their yard, and they do not expect to see any for at least 6 weeks.


We’re seeing an increase in cost and lead times when it comes to drywall. And these increases are expected to continue throughout 2021.


The standard lead time for cabinets across the market increased from 3-4 weeks to 12 weeks. There are a number of factors that contribute to this: increased demand, material unavailability and limited labor due to Covid-19 restrictions. Something important to note that can significantly impact bath and kitchen timelines: cabinetry wood is relatively delicate. While rare, there is always the possibility that any piece of a cabinetry order will arrive damaged from transport. If this should unfortunately occur, it could take anywhere from 8-12 weeks for a replacement to arrive.

Electrical Materials

It might not be surprising to learn that copper now costs about a third more than it did just this past fall. But what might be surprising is that something as simple as electrical rough-ins, a product you used to easily pick up at your local Lowes or Home Depot, is now in short supply. Electrical work is an integral part of most of our projects, so this information is yet another hurdle we have to surmount in an effort to keep our projects on track.

We share this information with you in an effort to not only keep you informed of the day-to-day goings on within the company, but also to help you better understand the challenges our industry is currently facing. We understand that any sort of delay when it comes to a construction project can be terribly frustrating. And we want to assure you that we are doing everything we can to maintain a level of excellence not only when it comes to our construction work but also our customer service.

Inspired? Check out more of our content:

We are Meridian Design Build, Ltd. a Charlotte construction company that provides every client with comprehensive, timeless results with an unwavering commitment to quality, character and integrity. Ready to start a project?

Schedule a consultation.