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Building Materials

This comprehensive study examines the US lumber industry. Demand is categorized by lumber type for both construction and industrial and commercial markets, with additional analysis by geographic region. The study also examines imports, exports, tariff impact, and industry sustainability. Historical data for 2010, 2015, and 2020 and forecasts to 2025 and 2030 are provided for lumber demand in both volume terms (board feet) and value terms (US dollars).

For the purposes of this study, lumber is defined as wood (taken from harvested trees, or timber) that has been cut and sawn into planks, beams, or boards of a desired size and shape. Lumber comprises both:

  • rough cut lumber
  • finished lumber

Types of lumber included in the scope of this study are:

  • untreated softwood lumber
  • pressure-treated softwood lumber
  • hardwood lumber
  • engineered lumber, such as I-joists, glulam, rim board, cross-laminated timbers (CLTs), structural composite lumber (SCL), laminated veneer lumber (LVL), parallel strand lumber (PSL), laminated strand lumber (LSL) and oriented strand lumber (OSL)

The value of OSB and plywood are included only when they are part of I-joists.

Products excluded from the scope of the study include engineered wood products, such as:

  • particleboard
  • plywood (except for that used to make I-joists)
  • medium-density fiberboard (MDF)
  • high-density fiberboard (HDF)
  • hardboard
  • oriented strand board (OSB), except for that used to make I-joists

These wood products differ from wood lumber in that engineered wood products consist of reformulated wood materials – sawdust, wood shavings, shells, and other materials – where lumber products are only made with solid wood lumber.

Lumber demand is segmented into the following applications:

  • structural and framing (e.g., wall framing, roof framing, structural floors and foundations)
  • exterior finish, including roofing, siding (or cladding), exterior trim, soffit and fascia, and shutters
  • interior finish components (e.g., finish flooring, doors and windows, cabinets, interior moulding and trim, ceilings, countertops, stairs and railings, mantels)
  • landscaping and outdoor lumber, such as decking, fencing, porches and patios, outdoor structures (e.g., gazebos, arbors, walls, pergolas), playgrounds, roads and bridges, piers, and boardwalks

Demand is also segmented into two major markets:

  • construction, which is further segmented by lumber used in new residential building construction, residential repair and remodeling, nonresidential buildings, and nonbuilding
  • industrial and commercial (e.g., pallets and crates, furniture, vehicles, signage, caskets, shelving, blinds, matting for large industrial equipment)

Finally, demand for lumber is broken out for the following US geographic regions and subregions:

  • Northeast (Middle Atlantic and New England)
  • Midwest (East North Central and West North Central)
  • South (South Atlantic, East South Central, and West South Central)
  • West (Mountain and Pacific)

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