NAHB - As lumber prices remain sky high, home-building activities continue to suffer across all aspects of the industry — including remodeling projects. Home owners have had an opportunity while sheltering in place to examine their homes and identify key areas in need of repair. But many have been apprehensive to tackle these projects because of the uncertain costs and availability of project materials.
“When talking to prospective clients about projects, lumber pricing is now always part of the discussion, as they are aware of the issue, and are all concerned about how that may impact the cost of their projects,” shared Kenneth Kostecki, a contractor/remodeler from Virginia.
“Availability of other materials — such as windows, doors, appliances, plumbing fixtures, tiles, etc., — have also been in very short supply and/or with extended lead times,” he added. “This has led to additional project delays, which has impacted both cash flow and the overall project schedule, meaning that home owners are left in the middle of a construction project with their house torn apart and unfinished for a longer period of time.”
Such an uncomfortable and unsafe living environment for a prolonged period of time is a deterrent not just for general updates, but for critical repairs as well, which many home owners are forgoing or having to find creative workarounds to help ensure their home is safe and functional.
“Twice this year I have had to put plywood over a customers’ patio door to prevent them from falling out of the back of their home. Why? Because their deck was unsafe and needed to be demolished, but there wasn’t enough new material available to rebuild it within the value of their home improvement loan when material prices escalated,” stated Jarrett Kravitz, a builder/remodeler from Connecticut.
“Due to rising lumber cost and shortages, we have had to put many projects on hold. This greatly impacts our customers, especially those still attempting to get hurricane repairs done,” shared Gabrielle Pumphery, a builder from Florida. “Insurance companies paid out too many of these customers six to 18 months ago at a rate that was current at the time. This has created a huge difference in money received versus current costs today. A repair project we have had on the list for a year would now cost us almost three times as much to do compared to a year ago.”
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