High demand for building materials in hurricane damaged areas of South Texas and Florida is having a ripple effect in the construction industry across the country.
Robert Markel from Markel Lumber in New Orleans reports that plywood prices have already shot up by 25 percent.
“Probably last week, you could buy half-inch CDX for anywhere from $14 to $15,” Markel said. “It’s probably up to $17 a sheet now in New Orleans.”
Markel admits, the price of plywood could go as high as $21 a sheet in coming weeks.
New Orleans home builder and renovator James Brooks says there is a now a run on certain materials.
“Everything from heaven to hell, whether it be framing, whether it be sheet rock, all of your finish lumber, trim, cabinetry,” Brooks said.
Brooks added some materials may soon be hard to source.
“I expect them to be effected just simply by availability of product,” Brooks said. “We’re smack dab in the middle of Houston and Florida and both were seriously damaged and devastated.”
John Luther from the Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans maintains the region is already losing construction workers.
“When you have some of these types of events, where people could run up and do a lot of business in a short period of time, you’re going to lose labor,” Luther said. “Because we’re not a big market, we notice that.”
Luther added, the building material and labor shortages could effect the timetable of some construction projects.
“It’s going to be longer than anticipated,” Luther said. “That does cause tension, often times between a home buyer or a home owner and a builder.”
When it comes to lumber, the construction industry was already suffering from a trade dispute between Canada and the U.S.
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