Changes to reduce some design values for Southern Pine could have a significant effect on supply and demand of Southern Pine dimensional lumber, machine-rated Southern pine, engineered lumber and other types of softwood lumber, according to Forest Economic Advisors (FEA), a Westford, Massachusetts-based consulting agency.
Last fall, the Southern Pine Inspection Bureau (SPIB) submitted their proposal of new design values for visually graded Southern Pine dimension lumber to the American Lumber Standard Committee Board of Review. The last major change for visually graded dimension lumber occurred in 1991.
The FEA report stated: “A change of this magnitude will have a marked effect on the supply, demand, and prices of Southern pine dimensional lumber, as well as on the value of standing Southern pine timber. It also will have a ripple effect on the supply, demand and prices of structural grades of machine stress-rated lumber, engineered lumber, and potentially on other North American softwood species.”
Framers and general contractors, along with truss and joist companies, rely on design values, which specify values of bending, tension and compression, to make certain they build certifiably safe homes. Roof trusses and rafters, floor joists and trusses, and various beams and headers will be impacted by the changes submitted by the SPIB.
We urge our professional contractors to contact us with their concerns regarding these changes.