Friday, June 4, 2021

Lumber Theft On the Rise for Site Builders

If finding skilled labor, material shortages, and the cost of lumber and building materials wasn't enough for site builders to worry about, now lumber thieves are stealing anything that isn't nailed down at their construction sites.

Plywood that cost $10 a sheet last year, is now more than $80, making it inviting for thieves. People can jump in their pickup, back into a job site, and in 2-3 minutes steal over $1000 worth of wood and plywood, then go on Facebook and sell it almost as soon as it's posted.

Another scenario that has reared its ugly head is the small remodeler and contractor using building sites as their new source of low-cost building materials. 

And not only did losing $1000 in LBM hurt, they lost time waiting for new replacement materials, or worse, but it may also be out of stock or the price has gone up.

Site builders with several jobs going on at the same time don't have secured storage for the lumber they will be needing for the next day or the manpower to have someone watch every job site when nobody is at the site.

I know a lot of site builders don't want to hear this but the off-site construction industry is probably the answer to most of your on-site theft. Using wall panels and trusses provide a good way to keep thieves away but modular construction goes even further with a secure worksite almost as soon as the modules are delivered.

Gary Fleisher is the Managing Director and contributor to the Modcoach Network and its affiliated blogs.

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