General

Avoid Increasing Lumber Costs by Choosing Bautex Wall System

(Image Pro­vid­ed By NAHB)

Lum­ber prices in the Unit­ed States (U.S.) con­tin­ue to rise with the recent announce­ment by the Trump admin­is­tra­tion to charge coun­ter­vail­ing tariffs1 on import­ed soft­wood lum­ber from Cana­da. Lum­ber prices in the U.S. began to increase at the end of 2016, when the 2006 soft­wood trade agree­ment between the U.S. and Cana­da expired. The end of the agree­ment and the antic­i­pa­tion of the soft­wood tar­iff have been blamed for increas­ing lum­ber costs of more than 20 per­cent. The Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Home Builders (NAHB) also reports that because of the high­er lum­ber costs in the first part of the year, a sin­gle-fam­i­ly home, which requires 15,000 board feet to con­struct, now costs almost $3,600 more to build. Com­mer­cial build­ings that are framed in wood, will see sim­i­lar increas­es. The addi­tion of a tar­iff on import­ed soft­wood lum­ber from Cana­da is pre­dict­ed to fur­ther con­tribute to the trend of ris­ing soft­wood lum­ber prices in the U.S.

Trump’s coun­ter­vail­ing tar­iffs on Cana­di­an soft­woods range from 3 to 24 per­cent and are retroac­tive on imports dat­ing back 90 days. Trump jus­ti­fies the coun­ter­vail­ing tar­iff on unsub­stan­ti­at­ed claims that Cana­di­an soft­wood pro­duc­ers are sub­si­dized by the Cana­di­an provinces. The sub­si­dies are in the form of low roy­al­ty rates for cut­ting trees on gov­ern­ment owned land in Cana­da. Trump claims this is an unfair advan­tage over soft­wood pro­duc­ers in the Unit­ed States, where for­est lands are most­ly held by lum­ber com­pa­nies. The U.S. Depart­ment of Com­merce deter­mined the tar­iffs based on claims that Cana­di­an soft­wood pro­duc­ers are receiv­ing sub­si­dies worth 3 to 24 per­cent.

Accord­ing to the Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Home Builders (NAHB), the coun­ter­vail­ing tar­iff on Cana­di­an lum­ber imports will increase the cost of lum­ber an aver­age of 6.4 per­cent. The NAHB also esti­mates the tar­iff will increase the price of an aver­age, new sin­gle-fam­i­ly home by anoth­er $1,236. The large U.S. soft­wood pro­duc­ers and lum­ber mills will prof­it from this coun­ter­vail­ing tar­iff. Home builders and com­mer­cial build­ing own­ers all stand to loss under the cur­rent Trump Cana­di­an soft­wood lum­ber tar­iff.

Con­trac­tors in the U.S. are depen­dent on lum­ber imports for wood con­struc­tion. Thir­ty-three per­cent of the lum­ber used in the Unit­ed States is import­ed. More than 95 per­cent of the import­ed lum­ber comes from Cana­da. Nine­ty per­cent of the wood used in fram­ing is soft­wood lum­ber. Accord­ing to the NAHB chair Granger Mac­Don­ald, imports are nec­es­sary because Amer­i­can mills do not pro­duce enough soft­wood lum­ber to meet the demands in the U.S.

Pro­duc­ing enough lum­ber at a rea­son­able price to meet the nation’s demand is vital to the build­ing indus­try. There are sev­er­al sug­gest­ed ways to increase U.S. pro­duc­tion of lum­ber: boost domes­tic pro­duc­tion of lum­ber from pub­licly owned lands, reduce export­ing lum­ber sales and increase log­ging of fed­er­al forests in an envi­ron­men­tal­ly sus­tain­able way. These sug­ges­tions will help to keep lum­ber prices down. A soft­wood tar­iff against Cana­da increas­es the cost of wood, which ulti­mate­ly is passed on in the form of increased mate­r­i­al costs for new con­struc­tion.

Bautex Wall System Offers an Alternative to The Rising Costs of Wood Framing

Con­trac­tors, archi­tects and builders can avoid the volatil­i­ty and increas­ing costs of lum­ber by choos­ing an alter­na­tive to wood framed walls, like the inno­v­a­tive Bau­tex™ Wall Sys­tem. The Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem saves con­struc­tion time and costs. Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem also has sig­nif­i­cant advan­tages over wood con­struc­tion.

  • The Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem con­tin­u­ous insu­la­tion is ener­gy effi­cient and stops ther­mal bridg­ing with a R‑value of R‑14. Wood fram­ing is less ener­gy effi­cient and can reduce the sur­round­ing insu­la­tion’s R‑value by 10%.
  • The Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem meets and exceed indus­try’s stan­dard for fire resis­tance with a ASTM E119 fire rat­ing of four hours and an ASTM E84 report­ed val­ues for flame speed of zero and smoke devel­op­ment of twen­ty. Fire quick­ly spreads in build­ings con­struct­ed of wood.
  • Build­ings con­struct­ed with the Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem are stronger than wood dur­ing severe wind storms. The Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem has the strength to resist winds of over 200 mph and can resist the fly­ing debris of the strongest wind event.
  • The Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduces the trans­fer of sound from the out­side to the inside of a struc­ture.

Lum­ber prices in the U.S. are on the rise as the U.S. and Cana­da con­tin­ue to strug­gle with a soft­wood trade agree­ment and the recent­ly imposed tar­iff by the Trump admin­is­tra­tion. The increase in lum­ber prices is pre­dict­ed to have a neg­a­tive impact on the U.S. build­ing indus­try. It may be time for builders and archi­tects to cut their depen­den­cy on wood con­struc­tion and con­sid­er insu­lat­ed con­crete blocks instead. The Bau­tex Walls system’s high per­form­ing insu­lat­ed con­crete blocks pro­vide an alter­na­tive to tra­di­tion­al wood con­struc­tion. Bau­tex Blocks are also more ener­gy effi­cient and fire, wind and mois­ture resis­tant than build­ings con­struc­tion with wood.

Coun­ter­vail­ing duties are tar­iffs (tax,fee) levied (imposed, charged) on import­ed goods to off­set sub­si­dies giv­en to pro­duc­ers of the goods from their gov­ern­ment. Coun­ter­vail­ing duties are meant to help pro­duc­ers of a prod­uct be com­pet­i­tive against for­eign pro­duc­ers of the same prod­uct who can sell it at a low­er price because of the help (sub­sidy) they receive from their gov­ern­ment. A sub­sidy is mon­ey giv­en by the gov­ern­ment to an indus­try for the pur­pose of keep­ing the price of that industry’s ser­vice or prod­uct low or com­pet­i­tive.

Click here to learn more about the Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem.