Every once in a while we feel compelled to try to be less discouraged about construction material prices in Haiti. This of course requires a trip to MSC–the only massive hardware store that associates price tags with all their products. MSC seems based on Home Depot, but…is so different. They have aisles for water tanks (for gravity-fed showers and faucets) and transformers (because you have to take your neighborhood’s power needs into your own hands?). But I’m here for three things: equipment for our new office space, rakes for yard work, and an update on lumber pricing. A harrowing excursion to be sure, especially seeing as it requires a trip down Rte Frere to cross town.
Rte Frere, for those who don’t know, is basically an endless sidewalk market–meaning a potentially 4 lane road is reduced to 2 lanes and a lot of brilliant cacophony. After a couple forks and a powder-blue-helmet-swarming UN staging zone, it’s an open road to MSC–the first place I’ve seen a manicured lawn in three weeks. Here’s the breakdown of the prices over our three investigations. I think the results are promising…
Prices there are in USD…and there were a lot of American contractor types and Brazilian UN officers wandering around. I also bought a cheap ball pump and a can of Pringles that came in handy waiting for the exit attendant to check the purchase, item-by-item, of three cartloads/a 5-ft-long receipt of an NGO group in front of me.
Item: July 31 price (April 28 price)
125 gallon tank: US $130.00
Solar water heater $559.00
Ceiling fan assembly $219.00
Oak door 30×80 $150.00
Sheet of corrugated plastic $15.50
3/4′ treated plywood $57.00 (from $54.00)
3/4′ plywood $40.00 (from $45.00 april 28 and $25.00 march 9)
1/2′ plywood $31.00 (from $36.00)
5/8′ plywood $43.50 (from $43.50)
lumber 1x6x16′ $9.60
lumber 1x8x16′ $14.00
lumber 1x12x14′ $20.00 (from $25.00 @ 16′)
lumber 2x3x16′ $12.00
lumber 2x6x14′ $16.00
lumber 2x8x14′ $17.50
lumber 2x8x16′ $20.50
lumber 4x6x16′ pressure treated $40.00
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