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Sticker Shock at Home Depot? Why the Cost of Building Materials is So High

By: Nava Brahe

You’ve finally decided to take the plunge on that home remodeling project you’ve been talking about for years. The funding is in place and the contractors are lined up, but suddenly your project is stymied by delays and the off-the-chart prices of materials. Why is this happening now?

Practically Everything is in Demand

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), 94 percent of residential contractors are suffering through shortages of things such as appliances, building materials like vinyl siding, and workers. And it’s all because of – you guessed it (I promised myself I wasn’t going to use the word “pandemic” anymore). Not only are people remodeling their existing homes, but new, single-family homes are in such high demand that they physically cannot be built fast enough.

Low Interest Rates + High Prices = Delays

We’ve navigated the past year with financial help from the federal government, along with banks literally giving away money. Consumers who qualified for home-equity loans and mortgages have been waiting not-so-patiently for contractors to get going on remodeling projects, and homebuyers are living in limbo because their newly-built homes are delayed because of skyrocketing building costs and a short supply of qualified workers. Moreover, 99 percent of construction businesses are small companies that feel the pinch of delays way before major players do. For example, small contractors are having to procure additional storage space to house the items they do have, while they wait for the items they don’t to come into stock.

The Exorbitance of Wood

DIYers and contractors alike are suffering sticker shock at the price of wood. Whether you’re planning to rebuild your deck, adding on a room, or waiting for your dream home to be completed, be prepared to fork over a lot more than you originally anticipated for the wood needed for these projects. Ninety percent of NAHB members claim that plywood has been hard to get, and that the price has gone up 121 percent over the past year. The average price of a newly built single-family house has gone up by over $35,000 because of these price increases. Despite this, lumber remains in high demand with social media commenters wondering why flatbeds hauling two-by-fours across the nation’s highways aren’t accompanied by police escorts to prevent any shenanigans. I saw one in my travels the other day and wondered the same thing.

You can still get the jump on your home-improvement projects despite all the headaches and delays. Contact us and we’ll help you flesh out your remodel. Friendly, exceptional service and expertise never goes out of stock.

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