Lumber and Trex Market Update: 1/29/2022
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Can I Buy the Materials When Hiring a Deck Builder?

Shade from the sun idea on deck, shade sail

Every once in a while, we come across this scenario: A client plans to build their own deck as a DIY project. They buy the materials, but six months down the road, they realize there isn’t enough time in the day with their schedule to get the job done. And now they’re looking to hire a contractor. 

If that sounds familiar, we get it! Building a deck can be a fun and rewarding experience. But it’s a big and dirty job. And when you combine getting all the materials, the time investment to build, and balancing inspections, installing a deck can sometimes be too demanding as a DIY project. 

So what happens now with all your materials? Can your deck builder use what you already have? Or maybe you never planned on doing the work yourself but want to know if you can supply the materials?

Let’s take a closer look at this scenario.

Homeowners Supplying the Materials

First, every builder will have their own policy when it comes to using already purchased materials. But we believe you should look for someone who orders materials themselves. 

 Let me explain why.

Product Selection & Individual Builders

I once heard from a potential client that “a Trex deck is a Trex deck is a Trex deck; it doesn’t matter who builds it.” But the reality is that couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Ensuring a deck is installed correctly requires a lot of planning, including how you’ll go about the build. And when it comes to materials, each deck has about 30-50 different SKUs, and every builder approaches a similar build with different products. 

That’s the key takeaway, every builder uses different materials.

So we know the quality of a completed deck boils down to the craftsmen who do the building (we refer to our installers as craftsmen because they’re incredibly talented in their craft). But they can produce such quality work because of their experience with products they know and trust. 

Issues & Damages

Beyond the problem of using lower quality or unfamiliar products, from a contractor’s perspective, having the deck materials already ordered or sitting on-site will bring up a few questions. 

  • Where did the materials come from?
  • How long have they been sitting exposed to the elements?
  • Is there any potential warping?

Depending on the answers, there may not be any issues. But if the opposite is true, how are the inevitable questions answered?

 For example:

  • There’s a scratch on one of the decking boards. Who caused it, and who will be paying for a new $100 board?
  • The wrong fasteners were ordered six months ago; how will that problem be handled?
  • There aren’t enough boards ordered; how do we deal with the delays? 
  • Years down the road, it turns out some of the posts weren’t pressure-treated; who handles that concern?
  • A bad cut was made (hey, we’re all human!) to a $100 board; who will pay for the new piece?
  • Who will warranty the material after install?

It can quickly become a very sticky situation when a contractor starts using materials the homeowners purchased. And it’s for this reason we believe you should look to hire a contractor that orders their own materials for a deck build. That way, they’re accountable for that material, eliminating the possibility of some of the issues.

As a specialty contractor that focuses on Trex composite decks, we won’t build a deck with already purchased materials. We stand behind our work, offering a 10 year workmanship warranty, and we want to know what materials we’re installing, where they came from (for quality purposes), and that nothing is missing. 

Already Purchased the Materials?

If you have materials from 6 months ago and you’re not able to find a contractor who will use them to build your new deck, all hope is not lost. We suggest calling the lumberyard where you purchased the materials. In our experience, many of them are fantastic to work with, and they’ll likely understand your situation. Call them up, tell the truth, and they may buy back the materials from you.

The Bottom Line

It’ll come down to the individual contractor on whether or not they’re open to using materials you’ve already purchased. But if you decide to go that route, be aware of the potential issues that can come up: handling damaged materials, changes to warranty, delays, etc. 

By letting your builder purchase the materials, they’re accountable for the quality and condition. So there’s a better chance of the entire project running more smoothly, ending with a beautiful newly built deck for you. 

What’s Next?

Are you looking for a deck builder? Let’s chat!

At Custom Deck Creations, we build composite decks for clients across SE Michigan. Our builds are all custom-made, so we’ll work with you to design the deck of your dreams that fits perfectly into your space. 

When you’re ready, please get in touch! We’ll chat about your project and give you a free over-the-phone estimate. Or take a look through our most recent projects first for inspiration.

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About Custom Deck Creations

From design to installation, Custom Deck Creations combines beautiful decks with fair pricing and unparalleled customer service. Our designs stand out, while our install processes exceeds expectations. We are a certified TrexPro Platinum builder. Custom Deck Creations is located in and serves Southeast Michigan. 

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Lumber and Trex Market Costs Update

Last Updated: 1/29/2022
Custom Deck Creations

A brief look into the current and expected inflation

Quick Summary

Lumber rose +28% locally from November 2021 to January 2022, and is expected for another significant double-digit increase impacting us in June 2022. We’re also anticipating a cost increase  from Trex around that  same time frame. Depending on size and material selection, decks are anticipated to increase in cost an average of $2,000 to $4,000 come June 2022. Custom Deck Creations is currently scheduling projects for April/May, before we feel these cost increases. Schedule a quote with us today to lock in today’s costs.

For a more detailed look into the market, please continue reading:


The lumber market continues to see pressure on the supply side. Canadian truck drivers are protesting COVID vaccine mandates, threatening to disrupt deliveries in Canada and possibly into the US. Fuel prices are also increasing. Overall demand for Southern Yellow Pine (pressure treated lumber used here in MI) remains steady. Mills are not sitting on a lot of inventory. Lead times from mills to dealers are getting extended.

Pressure treated lumber costs increased locally +28% from November 2021 to January 2022.

Lumber is expected to increase another ~+40% in June 2022. 

Custom Deck Creations is currently scheduling projects for April & May 2022, before we’re impacted by these increased costs.


Data from Trex distributors nationwide are seeing a steady growth in purchases even through winter.

Trex continues to see huge demand increases nationwide. 

Our Interpretation

Lumber will continue to rise in price throughout 2022. We don’t believe we’ll see pre-2022 lumber pricing any time soon.

In 2021 Trex put out 4 separate approximately +10% price increases. We believe more are to be expected in 2022. We do not expect Trex to ever lower their pricing.

No Inflationary Clause

Custom Deck Creations does not have an inflationary clause. Lock in today’s lumber and Trex costs with a signed agreement which puts you on our schedule. We will not charge you more even if our costs go up.

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