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kyvette
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 194 Central Kentucky
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2005-10-10          117677


For those of you in construction, what are you seeing in price increases due to the hurricanes. In my area, Kentucky, the 2004 hurricanes in Florida pushed up the lumber and drywall prices during the winter and early spring. They dropped back during the summer.

Another issue is material shortages. Have any of you experienced this. I work for an electric utility and some material deliveries have been pushed back for a few months, but this should improve by winter or early spring.

From what I have read the housing starts in July and August where down considerably from earlier in the year and in 2004. This should help on the supply and demand.

I hope to build in the spring, but not if lumber costs are considerably higher and materials are in short supply.

Dave

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beagle
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1333 Michigan
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2005-10-10          117682


The US Govenment has sent letters to some equipment manufacturers ( HVAC and Electrical Switchgear) that they may be putting their products on allocation to the commercial market until it is determined how much equipment will be needed for the reconstruction effort. Whether you like the pricing or not, you may not be able to get some building components until after the first of the year.

Structural Steel is another story. We are back to surcharges, and as of this month, the surcharges are back up to $120/ton from the mills. Blame it on the scrap market, the Chinese, or whatever. Steel surcharges are back, along with increased trucking surcharges due to fuel costs. We have one hell of a time trying to figure out how to price purchases that are 2-3 months out. Prices are at the time of delivery, not the time of order.

How's that for taking care of your customers. ....

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Peters
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3034 Northern AL
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2005-10-10          117713


Do you think Bush will rethink his first present to the American Business Interests. The large tarriff he placed on the Canadian lumber entering the country? I guess it would be logical and?!!!! ....

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kyvette
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 194 Central Kentucky
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2005-10-11          117730


Beagle,
Most of the materials we purchase are by competitive bids and in the last year or so the bid responses have an adder for metals and now fuel surcharges.

We have an annual contract with a manufacturer of single phase pole and pad mount transformers. Last year I received an email about adding a surcharge to our current order. I refused to accept the surcharge because the contract didn't allow for surcharges. The current contract has a metals surcharge statement.

It's wrong for you and I as the consumer to pay higher costs because the Chinese want our metal and in turn create shortages resulting in higher costs. I feel this is a fault of the Republican administration, as generally speaking the republicans support and cater to big business.

However, the situation with the hurricanes and the shortages related to the rebuild would have happened anyway.

As a local utility we haven't increased our rates nor do we add adjustments for metals and fuel. However, we do pass on fuel adjustments from our supplier and surcharges in some instances are passed on to the customer.

I should have built a couple of years ago, but hindsight is always 20/20. ....

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Peters
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2005-10-11          117738


I can not speak to the metal shortage, but I know there area a lot of saw mills in Canada idled by the Republican policies. A simple stroke of the pen could provide much more supply. What is the current surcharge (Tariff)? 40%?
To me that is the same logic as placing a tariff on Saudi oil because it costs less to pump. We must import more than 1/2 the oil and we must import 1/3 our soft wood lumber.
Good grief we only get the lesser grades out of Canada anyway, the prime lumber goes to Japan or Europe that pays premium prices. ....

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Iowafun
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 955 Central Iowa
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2005-10-11          117747


Slightly off-topic, but I talked to a guy that builds houses on the side of his regular job (electrical utility lineman). This was about 3-4 weeks back. At that time, he said plywood had jumped $5 a sheet.

Also, my transformer had blown and needed replacing. I was lucky. My utility is down to 25 transformers left for a 50 x 70 mile service area (mostly rural) for the rest of teh year. Everything else went south. It would suck to lose a transformer in Iowa in December and be told the utility has nothing left. ....

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kyvette
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 194 Central Kentucky
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2005-10-13          117855


We are in good shape on transformers today, however, that could change in a couple of weeks. This morning I had my engineers go over all potential projects we know about and summarize the material we need to provide service to those projects. We will go ahead and place orders for conductor, transformers, poles, and associated hardware, because almost everything is placed on backorder.

Iowafun, I understand your concern, as an outage anytime is no fun, but during the winter it can be life threatning. Do you have any type of backup heat or generator?

We recently lost a 8mgd water pump at our treatment facility. We have three pumps and one was at Peerless for repair. We acquired a 5mgd backup pump that runs on a diesel engine. Even though we can purchase diesel at discount the pump is costing us about $900 per day for fuel.

With natural gas prices going through the roof and a potential shortage of electric materials, an abnormally cold winter nationwide could be devastating. ....

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grinder
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 677 central Maine
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2005-10-13          117857


Peters
Aren't the Canadian mills subsidized by the government?
Maybe one of our members to the north could shed some light ?
I remember something about it in the papers a while back.
I often see Canadian trucks down here in Maine buying our
veneer oak logs and hauling them back home. It use to be said that they (Canadian lumber mills) came here to Maine and bought our softwood and trucked it back to Canada. Milled it and sold it back to us at competive prices. Not sure if this is still the case or not.
I know the Maine lumbermen were yelling foul without the tarriffs? ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
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2005-10-14          117881


The American lumber industry calls it "subsidy".

Canadians call it "job creation".

The whole thing stems over the sale of standing timber.

In Canada huge tracts of land are publicly owned. These lands are actively logged and re-planted. This creates jobs that would otherwise not exist.

The problem is, the timber is sold by the Government, to Canadians only, and for somewhere between 25 - 50% of what an "open market auction" of that lumber would bring if it was private timber located and sold in the United States.

So, like with most things, if someone else can sell it for considerably less, then it must be tariffed to "level the playing field".

Problem is, who's to say what the US Government does is right, and the Canadians are wrong???

It applies to lots of things, not just lumber, the American beef industry uses much the same arguement to say that Canadian Beef is unfairly subsidized, even though many US farmers graze their cattle on BLM land for almost nothing.

It's strange however that nobody cries foul about the electricity, natural gas, oil or water that finds it's way south of the border. Hmmmmmmmm....... ;->

Best of luck. ....

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Iowafun
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 955 Central Iowa
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2005-10-14          117882


Kyvette, I'm probably better off than most should something happen to my transformer this winter. My house is wired up for a generator. I don't own one, but could buy one and have it running quickly should the need arise. All of the connecting breakers and such are ready so all I would need is a generator and fuel for it. Man, I'd hate to have to foot that fuel bill... ....

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Billy
Join Date: Oct 1999
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2005-10-14          117884


Murf, it's kind of funny how people play the game. A few years back, Weyerhaeuser (the largest employer and private landowner in this area) was one of the biggest companies hollering for tariffs on Canadian lumber.

So what did they do? They bought MacMillan Bloedel Limited in 1999. Today, Weyerhaeuser Canada holds renewable, long-term licenses on 32.6 million acres of forestlands in five provinces and owns 664,000 acres.

Guess who's against the lumber tariff now! Oh, the games people play...


....

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Peters
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3034 Northern AL
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2005-10-16          117953


Grinder Murf covered some of this. I can only address issues pertaining to B.C. It is only 60% of the exports to the US, but I only worked in forestry and ministry of forest in this province, not Ontario or other provinces.
In the 60 and 70's a company called Columbia Cellulose a US company owned the major timber rights in the northern 1/2 of the province. In the area I lived they owned the Kitsam-Kalem-Nass area. The total area is approximately 200 miles long and 100 miles wide roughly 1/4 the size of Alabama. They also own other large tracts in other areas near by. Most of the area was prime 1st growth timber growing in relatively flat valleys. Prime in this area means 300+ foot trees.
They clear cut all the valleys selling much of the timber over seas or to the US mills. They ran the pulp mill and logging operation into the ground, blew up the boiler and killed people. They never replanted a thing. After some 30 years of raping the prime timber, they claimed they were not making any money and in about 74 they walked out of the province and gave all the responsibility to the province for 1 dollar. (I know at the time I lived in Terrace B.C.)
For example a single tree in the area typically would be worth $20,000 dollars or more in raw logs at the railroad tracks at the time. Remember a new car was 3-7 thousand at this time.
After this the laws in the province required that resource companies have a provincial entity so the government could control them better and post bonds for the replanting costs.
Timber rights on public lands in B.C. are auctioned off to the highest bidder. Sealed bids are submitted to the province after plots are advertised in the news papers. Any company with a national identity can bid. For example some of the larger operations in the Sunshine Coast were Weldwood and Rainier, american base companies.
Part of the problem in B.C. is the fact that the rights were sold a number of years ago. For example the northern Peace River plateau area was sold when you could only log in the winter as there is a lot of muskeg. A faller wandered around in 30-40 below weather in waist deep snow. Back in the 60's and 70's the poor Canadian companies could only afford this area and CanFor and others bought here not the rich expensive coastal forests. Suddenly in the 80ís mechanized logging arrived making logging more profitable and the stumpage fees look ridiculous. Canfor and other built new computerized saw mills intergrated with new pulp operations. The new saw heads made more efficient use of a raw log and reduce the labor significantly. Even the coastal operations in B.C. with older mills and water transport could not compete and were idled.
Likewise the water rights and electricity from power generation contracts made in the 50ís between US governments and B.C., fractions of cents per kilowatt look ridiculous. Naturally as Murf stated there are no complaints on the US side about dumping energy.
I now live in Alabama. I pay about 50 dollars an acre for land tax. No stumpage is paid when you log. The large timber company next door pays about 50 cents and acre for their land and no stumpage. Which area do I think is subsidizing? We just have big business on one side and no one lobbying for the small consumer. ....


Link:   History of Trade Dispute

 
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grinder
Join Date: Oct 2003
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2005-10-16          117955


Thanks for the history lesson. I guess greed is universal. ....

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kyvette
Join Date: Feb 2004
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2005-10-18          118077


My neighbor and I are in the process of installing a joint use electric/telecom 270' ditchline with conduit. A couple of weeks ago we brought schedule 40 2" PVC for $4.30/10ft section. Yesterday, we brought the same 2" conduit to complete the telecom part and paid $8.00/10ft section.

I have also heard that plywood has increased in price about 50%. I guess this is to be expected. Dave

....

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Iowafun
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 955 Central Iowa
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2005-10-18          118105


If it's not going up due to demand, it'll go up due to the cost of transportation. Has anyone seen the cost of diesel fuel lately? Crap!! Gas here is down to $2.29, but diesel is climbing and has passed $3.15 a gallon. I'll have to park my diesel pickup soon. Local station has a $75 cap on fuel purchase at the non-semi rig pumps. I can't fill my F-250 for $75. ....

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Peters
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3034 Northern AL
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2005-10-18          118137


Well I did not get to the top of the Dodge's tank with $105 dollars the other day. Diesel is near $3.20 around here.

Well on the back pages of the local MS rag I found the news that the USDA estimates that we lost or damaged 19 billion board feet of timber with the two hurricanes. Most of it is yellow and white pine that will go moldy in a few months. They say they need to get it out or it will all be waste. Well it has been a month and a half and this is the first I have heard about it so?
To put in prospective it is about 1/2 a years production of US lumber or 1 years worth of Canadian imports. You could say we lost 2 percent of the softwood lumber available in the next 30 years. ....

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
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2005-10-18          118138


Here in Oregon the Biscuit fire burned 500,000 acres of old growth forest. The environmentalists have had salvage logging of hundreds of millions of board feet of timber from that burn tied up in lawsuits for years. It's probably too late now, a lot of it has rotted. What a waste. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
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2005-10-19          118155


"...diesel is climbing and has passed $3.15 a gallon. I'll have to park my diesel pickup soon."

Wanna trade? Ours is DOWN to just under $4.75 a gallon now.

Peters, Ken, another forum I participate in a bit is Forestry related. They were talking about exactly this the other day. I think the 19 billion BF is a conservative number. We flew over a very vast area with not a single tree remaining vertical. They say there is some 5 million acres of timber destroyed. It would have had a market value of $5 billion had it been harvested.

To put those numbers in perspective a little, that would be enough wood to produce 800,000 single family homes AND 25 million tons of paper and paperboard.

However, in the case of the hurricanes they are expiditing efforts to reclaim as much of the wood as possible. They are ven recruiting owners of small portable sawmills to come in and saw on-site for the rebuilding effort.

Best of luck.
....

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kyvette
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2005-10-19          118157


Our diesel is $3.15 and has held this price for a couple of weeks while gasoline has dropped to $2.56.

I assume you have been keeping up with Wilma, she became a cat 5 hurricane overnight and is projected to hit Ft Meyers, Florida on Saturday. About the same place as Charley last summer.

However, not much timber there to destroy. Just rebuilt homes and businesses. ....

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Peters
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2005-10-19          118158


Murf from the report I read, the 800,000 homes and 25 million tons is what they believe they can save. The other figure, the amount lost is near twice that. As you stated you need more capacity in a relatively small area to process all this timber.

Kyvette, I am finally getting people in the area interested in ICF houses. We need to rebuild but as the price of timber goes out of site, maybe people will start looking for better safer methods of construction. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
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2005-10-19          118159


ICF is a good system, unfortunately the shipping and other logistics problems of using it is often insurmountable, especially in remote or disaster-stricken areas.

I mis-typed, the figures I quoted were meant to reflect what they say COULD be salvaged out of what the storms brought down.

Best of luck. ....

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Peters
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2005-10-19          118192


I don't think the people I have been using have considered the logistics of shipping. They tend to use a normal rig and you get stuck with a large bill for shipping air. I talked with a distributor today and he does not keep any blocks on hand, do to the damage of the blocks which can occur.

I have a few ideas to remove the problems, both in construction and transport, but the people in Cobourge Ont are not into radical innovation. They are military by the numbers types. ....

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Murf
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2005-10-20          118198


Peters, we watched a contractor using the ICF system to build a place just down the beach from us in the Bahamas.

Container after container arrived, as you described it, importing Canadian air, trapped in foam.

The poor fellow was told by the Government officials that our house was also a 'formed concrete' house, when he came to see he asked how many containers our place took to build. When I told him "one" I thought was going to fall over.

When I further told him that that one container also held all the appliances, plumbing fixtures and windows, he was in disbelief, I had to drag out the pictures to show him.

But that is the difference between a product that "nests" compared to shipping air.

I know the people in Cobourg, they are good folks, but you are right, innovation is not their strong suit.

Best of luck. ....

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kyvette
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 194 Central Kentucky
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2005-10-20          118208


Peters, I don't know anything about ICF but I am going to research the product. I don't know if builders are using it in the local area, if not it maybe be too costly. Thanks for the info. Dave ....

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HuckMeat
Join Date: Jan 2004
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2005-10-20          118210


I just finished my house, 2900 sf + walkout basement, with the Nudura ICF, made in Canada. 8' long forms, 18" tall, that fold flat and hinge open, no assembling the webs. My entire house of forms would have probably fit in a shipping container, It was hauled to my site in two trips with an 18' bumper pull flat bed trailer.

The bigger problem is concrete - Here, (in Colorado) the fed's came in and made the stucco compaines that have their cement factories start shipping 2 truckloads of cement south every week. Forget the free market, concrete here is now both more expensive and rationed. Hence my post on the PTO cement mixers for my small projects - The yards will not sell anything less than 20 yards, since their big municipal customers contractors are getting on the waiting lists and buying all the product. If you hire a contractor that does a lot of business, he can get concrete, but there is still a waiting list.

And the price us up to $85 a yard (from $62 a year ago) with another increase coming in Janurary.

:(

However, the ICF house is wonderful. We don't even notice when 60-90mph winds come down off the foothills when a big storm is coming in. My neighbors sleep in their basement on those nights so they don't have to hear the wind. ....

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Peters
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2005-10-20          118215


The blocks Murf and I are alluding to nest fairly tight. I believe I used 6 stacks (pallets) for the 42 x 60 foot barn with 12 ft walls. The six stacks take up some 16 ft on an 8 ft wide trailer. The trouble is the stack weighs less than 200 lbs. You don't need a regular truck to ship them.
The other problems is that althought the expanding bead process is relatively simple, the steam expanding equipment and cooling equipment takes up considerable space. I was thinking of an alternate method of block production that you could back in a couple of containers and move to any location. Why move a mountain of foam to the customers? ....

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Murf
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2005-10-21          118227


Peters, I already have such a thing, but it doesn't take up any more room than a small suitcase, never mind even a single container.

Best of luck. ....

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Peters
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2005-10-21          118229


The materials for self expanding systems are expensive so there goes you cost advantage. The molds for blocks are larger than a suit case. ....

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Murf
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2005-10-21          118231


Ahh, see there's the problem, you're not thinking 'outside the blocks', LOL.

Why re-invent the wheel?

Foam is readily available oll over the world already. Why not merely have a small hotwire cutting sytem and a small hot insertion tool for the plastic spacer then use locally sourced foam?

Then all you have to ship is a small box of plastic spacers and the know-how. ;->

Best of luck.
....

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Peters
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2005-10-21          118234


Murf;

That's what the Dow system is, to a greater or lesser extend. It has not sold well. And like the boys in Cobourg will not readily jump to a new idea.

The ARXX system provides more than just a block. The locking of the blocks together is an assist in construction. To have the earth quake rating they have developed the X in the blocks. I would not build without the fir strips in the blocks for anchoring. This requires the foam to be molded around them or multi piece braces.

I had also worked with new material so I could precoat the blocks with bonding material.

I tried to get Nova chem. excited about the project but you know how large companies are. Unfortunately I was not born with a silver spoon and have had some large financial set backs (two house fires) so. ....

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HuckMeat
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2005-10-21          118235


I looked at ARXX - You definitly need anchors for hanging stuff, attaching siding/drywall/etc like arxx and the others have.

Nudura (www.nudura.com) has forms that fold/hinge on metal pins that are molded in the plastic webs. you unfold the forms (8' long, they go up fast) and then snap them to the block below. The nudura forms plastic ties are molded from the top to the bottom of the blocks, so you don't get compression of the foam. The tops/bottoms of the forms are design to lock toegether with a little ratchet toothed prong/socket (similar to a weak zip tie) so when you stack them, they stay stacked and don't float.

I don't sell them or anything, but I looked at every block, and this one had a bunch of advantages over the others. 2 of us stacked a basement with a 10.5' wall with lots of corners and T's in 2 days.

Since it folds flat, then hinges open, you don't have to ship air all over the place. ....


Link:   Nudura ICF Forms

 
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kthompson
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2005-10-21          118246


I live on the edge of the heavy woods lost to Hurricane Hugo in 1989 in South Carolina. We had trucks here for many months hauling only that wood trying to salvage it. There were companies hauling about 75 miles one way. There was much they were able to save, much used for pup and much that was lost. Then there are the years before there is any timber from those woods.

Something else that comes into price of building not mentioned is interest rates. Normally as rates go up, materials go down. Rates have been slowly rising. ....

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