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Palm Coast Tuesday, Jun. 1, 2021 1 year ago

Homebuilders plagued by material shortages

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Flagler Home Builders Association reports that lumber prices are up 400%.
by: Brian McMillan Contributing Writer

With costs of materials skyrocketing, along with an increased demand on a broad scale for construction projects, delays have unavoidable in the homebuilding industry, according to a press release from the Flagler Home Builders Association.

During the pandemic, many factors contributed to the increased demand. Interest rates have been low, and with so many people forced to stay home, many are renovating their homes "and fixing things they had put on the back burner," the release states. The pandemic also contributed to an increase in numbers of people moving to Florida from the Northeast United States.

Meanwhile, factories and manufacturing plants were forced to limit capacity as they followed COVID-19 protocols, including social distancing. The workforce, which was already experiencing a shortage of skilled laborers, shrunk further. With supply down and demand up, material prices spiked, including lumber going up 400%.

The delays for building or renovating have been several weeks or longer, the FHBA reported, with start times pushed back six months further than normal, even if the contractors order materials well in advance.

The FHBA encourages residents to research any contractors you are considering hiring. "First ensure your contractor is properly licensed by the state of Florida (www.MyFloridaLicense.com)," the FHBA said. "While not all trades require a license, many do. Secondly, get proof of insurance from your contractor."

Delays are inevitable, the FHBA said. "We thank you in advance for your patience. ... We believe that our members will meet their customers' expectations as we all continue to navigate these difficult times."

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