The cost of lumber broken down in a new home build

- June 28, 2021


The cost of building a new home in Canada has more to do with labour prices than any material used in the home.

Members of the Western Retail Lumber Association (WRLA) broke down the average bill of a brand new build in Canada and found that direct lumber material costs make up only about 4% of a new home's price.

"As lumber prices have reached record highs in North America, the cost of housing has been discussed at length, but material costs are only part of the bill when people plan to build a new home," says Liz Kovach, President of the WRLA. "The largest line item is labour -- at half of the home's cost. It's important to keep things in perspective. Many new homes that are being built are large houses, but the proportion of the bill that's lumber is relative."
A new home costs are broken down in the following way:
  • Labour: 50%
  • Mechanical, Electrical, Heating, Cooling, Plumbing such as Bath Tubs, Toilets, etc.: 22%
  • Foundation: 5%
  • Trim/Kitchen: 4%
  • Floor/Roof System: 4%
  • Lumber 4%
  • Siding/Soffit: 3%
  • Windows/Doors: 3%
  • Flooring: 2%
  • Shingles 1%
  • Paint 1%
  • Insulation 1%
The cost breakdown for a newly built home.

About the Western Retail Lumber Association:

The WRLA represents 1,200 member firms in the building supply industry across Western Canada, including hardware stores, manufacturers, suppliers and lumberyards.


For more information, please contact:

Amber McGuckin
Marketing & Communication Manager
Western Retail Lumber Association
Cell: 204-390-7911

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