May 12, 2010 | In the past two years, John Sockaci has seen a drop in calls from people wanting new homes built. But as he and his crew remain busy building additions, putting up drywall and other projects, the general contractor from North Sewickley Township has seen another trend: The price of lumber has gone through the roof.

“It went up ever since the price of gas went up,” Sockaci said.

The price of lumber has stacked up dramatically in the last year, more than double from last year, according to the National Association of Home Builders, which estimates that the cost of lumber and wood products account for about one-third of the costs of materials used to build a home.

From the everyday Joe who wants to build or repair a deck to the homebuilder who is trying to catch a break, the steep rise in construction costs could hurt.

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