“It’s time to rebuild”

Renovation season has begun in Quebec and DIY enthusiasts of all kinds are currently benefiting from lower prices than last year on most essentials.

• Read more: According to the group’s big boss, which owns BMR hardware store, the price of construction materials will come down this year.

“It’s time to renovate. We have the sizes, we have the prices. It’s time to buy to do the renovations from A to Z,” implores Eric Audi.

As president of two BMR hardware stores in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean area, he’s fine with lumber prices on the decline. And prices are likely to rise again soon.

“Last year there was a price hike in July and August. This year may be the same,” he offers without elaborating.

In April, the price of 2x4x8 lumber in Quebec averaged $3.49, up from $5.52 last June. In the case of plywood the drop is marked down, but still: $73.56 to $54.97 for a 4x8x3/4 piece.

Once the snow melts, outdoor renovations begin again: expanding the house, building a patio, pergola or shed, there is no shortage of projects.

“It’s not like the last three years, which were historic, but people are still here this year,” said Nicholas Couture, owner of four Timber Mart stores in the eastern townships.

The businessman finds the drop in timber prices “very impressive” and isn’t sure it will rise again anytime soon.

“We don’t know what it will look like after the construction holiday. Some construction contractors have work until next year, while others are half-empty,” he says.

Confirmation period

In late summer and fall there is less demand, which can keep prices low.

It’s not residential construction that will drive up prices this year, as forecasts for the sector are grim.

Scotiabank's Rene Lalonde predicts the Quebec construction industry will return to growth next year.

Photo from Scotia website

Scotiabank’s Rene Lalonde predicts the Quebec construction industry will return to growth next year.

In 2023, construction and renovations will decline by 5% and housing starts by 7%, Scotiabank’s René Lalonde said on Thursday at the annual conference of the québécoise de la hardware et des Matériaux de building (AQMAT).

“The sun will return in 2024 with a 10% increase for construction and renovations and a 3.8% increase for housing starts,” said the financial institution’s director of modeling and economic forecasts.

Many significant price reductions

Product sold Average price
June 17, 2022
Average price
October 27, 2022
Average price
April 2023
First change
June 2022 (%)
Construction wood
2x4x8
$5.52 $4.26 $3.49 -36.78%
Construction wood
2x6x8
$8.49 $7.05 $5.41 -36.28%
Construction wood
2x8x8
$10.78 $11.70 $8.53 -20.87%
Construction wood
2x10x8
$17.96 $14.26 $11.48 -36.08%
Plywood
4x8x3/4
$73.56 $57.82 $54.97 -25.27%
Plywood
4x8x1/2
$49.03 $39.21 $36.68 -25.19%
Gypsum
4x8x1/2
$14.12 $14.50 $15.03 6.44%
R20 insulation wool
6×15 (80 ft
2)
$50.88 $56.87 $55.67 9.41%

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