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Hurricaine Katrina impact on construction costs


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By Bob on 9/6/2005


I'm wondering if anyone has heard anything about how the impact of Hurricane Katrina's devastation in the southern states will impact construction costs in other regions. I'm guessing costs will go up all over the country, but that's just a guess at this point.
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By Marc in Defuniak Springs, FL on 9/6/2005


Bob,

After Opal and Ivan, prices rose as well as availability. Shingles were back-ordered and roofs still have blue tarps on them from over a year ago.

I had worried about this for a few days, and yesterday the wife and I dug into savings and purchased our lumber and sheetrock. Actually we got a great deal. Home Depot had a purchase and not pay for a year deal, we asked and they gave us a ($95) free delivery, I can have 30 days for delivery and if during the 30 days I find we are not ready for delivery I can extend for another 30 days. On top of that, using the three quotes I received from local lumberyards they beat the prices by $381. We found all our lamps/fans for 20% off, found two plumbing fixtures as well. I am hopeful today I can lock in our shingles. A roofer friend of mine said contractors are purchasing stock shingles ahead of time and supplies are dwindling.

The contractor sales clerk at HD said during those last few storms PT lumber was not affected, so I held off on the porch lumber. A word of note for our area (Panhandle Florida) HD regional office is located in the storm-hit area and supplies availability could suffer, she said.


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By Bob on 9/6/2005


It was probably smart to get your materials ordered now. Even though Indiana wasn't directly impacted, I'm still thinking that the increased demand for materials in the southern states will cause availability to decrease and costs to increase here.
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By Lori in Reno, NV on 9/7/2005


I found this information provided by Chase Insurance:

"Hurricane Katrina will cause construction material costs to increase nationwide by about 20% (in my estimate) within the next couple weeks. The increase due to Hurricane Katrina will be sustained for at least 9 months. The cost of labor is likely to increase by about 400% in the areas that suffered damaged. Other areas are likely to see an increase in labor costs of 50%." 

Hope this helps.


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By Bob in Indianapolis, IN on 9/8/2005


Yikes! That pretty well tells me that I won't be building any time soon.
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By Netie in Salt Lake City, UT on 9/10/2005


400%? I wish! I'd have DH out there so fast he wouldn't know what hit him! Union electricians out there make about $19.50/hr for commercial/industrial work - I don't know the residential figure, but it's typically 60%-70% of the C/I wage. I believe their wages are low in most of those parts due to cost of living and illegal workers.

I agree the price of building materials will go up, and after two years, when building has slowed down in the Gulf, it'll go down, but of course be higher than before.

But what I also anticipate is that contractors will increase their prices throughout the country because they'll be able to blame it on Katrina!


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