BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — High prices on materials have caused delays on construction projects across the state.
“I replaced five windows in my house. The cost was three times what I anticipated and the delivery was 11 months. That tells you a lot,” stated Louisiana Association of General Contractors CEO Ken Naquin.
He said the soaring prices for materials are putting his members in a pinch. It’s a crisis that has plagued the industry for over a year and a half now.
“My members are very frustrated. They want to do the work if the materials are available and at a cost that they can justify to the owner,” Naquin explained.
Home Builders Association of Greater Baton Rouge CEO and President Karen Zito said she saw a drastic rise in materials like aluminum and wood because of the shortages.
“The lumber prices increased 241% since late August of last year,” she stated.
The factors contributing to the crisis boiled down to an increase in demand, high fuel prices, a decrease in materials and a lack of workforce. Contractors across the state have tried to cope with all of these high prices and the lack of materials but it is starting to delay some of their projects.
“How do you plan a project that’s two or three years old? How do you plan on price increases? How do you adjust when material supplies are not holding their prices any longer than 30 days?” asked Naquin. “The highway department may have 350 projects scheduled for this year but now they may only be able to do 300.”
“All this is delaying single-family construction times across the nation and putting upward price pressure on home prices,” said Zito.
Zito said all of these factors also contributed to low housing availability, thus higher prices.
“As a result of these continuing rising costs, almost 400 households in Greater Baton Rouge are priced out of a new home for every $1,000 price increase,” she explained.
Developers hope to work with community stakeholders to help limit the impact of these rising costs.