Home builders

Home builders and renovators face shock from stickers during pandemic

LONDON, ONT. – As we move into spring and summer, with many of us not venturing too far from home, some are looking to do home renovations.

But those who do might be shocked by the stickers.

Homeowners are finding out what contractors have faced over the past year – the cost of building materials is skyrocketing, especially lumber. And without end in the site.

“You now need to price the work accordingly to include the continued inflation of the material,” said Matt Scott. “Suppliers tell me they are increasing by 10% per month. “

Scott flips eight homes a year, with a team of 20 to 30 contractors.

Domestic fin Matt Scott in Sarnia, Ontario. on March 24, 2021 (Bryan Bicknell / CTV London)

He is currently restoring a 160 year old house in Sarnia. He discovers hidden treasures such as the original parquet.

But he also discovers hidden costs in just about any material needed for the job.

“I have to make sure they have what I need on the road, and I have to prepay for things. Some electrical circuit breakers, the precious metals that you find in circuit breakers, it’s getting harder and harder to find. HVAC units. AC units. Everyone is doing renovations. Everyone buys everything. Even household appliances! I had to buy the appliances for my next two homes three months in advance.

Strong demand for new construction coupled with a housing shortage is compounded by sharp price increases. Not to mention a shortage in the wood supply.

Dave Kirk, owner of a Home Hardware business in southwestern Ontario, said the biggest price increases were for lumber. He said the price of some types of wood increased 400% over a year ago.

“We continue to buy regularly, so we have a good stock. So you know you have to buy it. You can’t sit and wait for a day to drop, so … You have to keep the pipeline pretty full because our builders still need it.

No one can guess when or if the prices go down again. But the sanders have to keep sanding and the hammers have to keep swaying.

Scott says for now he needs to keep budgeting and hopes he can still turn a profit in the face of inflation.

“Anything that goes beyond what comes up that reduces my profits, that’s what it is. I have to make sure the next house is nice for the next owner, and that’s right.


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