Construction materials prices and shortages continue challenges for many

LaGrange Bureau

LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – As construction materials prices continue to soar and a materials shortage continues, construction companies and real estate agents have had to make adjustments.

Kevin Hester, a Site Superintendent for Fyffe Construction Company, said its been a battle to build anything without pre-ordered materials in the last year.

“Its definitely been a task. There’s shortages on everything plus the price increases. Lumber has tripled, copper wire has tripled, windows are about impossible to get,” said Hester.

Projects that started within the last year are anywhere from three to six months delayed, if not more. Despite the circumstances, Hester believes homes are still selling.

“Homes are still selling, of course the prices astronomically went up. The houses that were selling for $90 a foot a year ago are selling for $120 a foot. The consumer of course has to pay the price,” said Hester.

Many companies have began to put inflation clauses at the bottom of their contracts. The clauses warn the consumers that prices are subject to change depending on the prices of the materials.

Jerome Bechard, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker and Manns Paris Group, said he began to use inflation clauses in his contracts as well. The prices for materials often rise while he is in the process of selling a home and needs to adjust the pricing according to the prices of the materials.

“Communication, when you sit down and talk to a new builder or a builder that’s going. That’s kind of an upfront conversation that you kind of need to have. We all know that the lumber prices are high and it’s not even just the lumber, its everything,” said Bechard.

Bechard said communication with his clients has been essential during this time. He believes communicating the situation upfront will help avoid a problem down the line.

“As a realtor, my job is to protect them and make sure that they don’t get into situations that is overwhelming for them,” said Bechard.

Neither Bechard or Hester believe the prices of the materials are going to come back down to the way they were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Well of course we would like for it to get back where it was pre-COVID. We don’t see that happening and if it does, it’s going to be a gradual decline,” said Hester.

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