But some of the manufacturers who serve these builders and renovators are struggling to keep factories running during the pandemic.
Now the demand has exceeded the supply.
As a result, the cost of some building materials has skyrocketed, pushing up the cost of housing and renovations even more.
“My wife and I went to the Raleigh Home Show, I believe it was January of last year, and met our builders there,” Ned Freer told ABC11 at his home in North Raleigh, where the kitchen has now been gutted.
Freer and his wife had planned to start renovating their kitchen in the spring of last year.
The onset of the pandemic delayed them for a few months, and then the construction boom took off before they could plan the project.
So here they are a year later, barely starting to renovate their kitchen.
And now the cost of this project is significantly higher than it would have been a year ago.
But Freer doesn’t blame their contractors by saying, “I know Dave and Peggy aren’t the ones making the plywood and chopping the lumber; that they buy it from others.
Freer talks about Peggy Mackowski and her husband Dave who own Quality Design & Construction.
In the Freers’ gutted kitchen, she spoke of the rapidly rising material prices.
“We get weekly reports from our suppliers telling us how much is going to increase this week,” said Peggy Mackowski. “Some of my suppliers will only guarantee their prices for 14 days because the prices are rising so quickly.”
Mackowski is a member of the Homebuilders Association of Raleigh-Wake County.
The association told ABC11 that increases in material prices mean the cost of construction is rising rapidly, and every $ 1,000 jump in house prices pushes 800 local families out of the market.
The cost increases are mainly on the lumber side according to the National Homebuilder’s Association, especially composite materials that use resin or glue, like something called OSB or oriented strand board, which is often used like plywood.
“There is currently a shortage of resin. So that has increased the cost of OSB from $ 11 to about $ 36 a sheet, if you can find it,” said Peggy Mackowski.
Mackowski estimates that the cost of its materials could be up to 30% higher than at the same time last year.
She said pandemic problems at manufacturing plants, combined with hurricanes, wildfires and floods that destroyed homes in 2020, are the main catalysts for increases that her company has no choice but to pass it on to clients like the Freers.
Although Quality Design & Construction has had its best year in 2020 and hopes to do the same this year, Mackowski says she doubts material prices will ever drop.
She just hopes they stabilize once the pandemic is over.
But for those trying to achieve the American dream of homeownership, the pandemic has made it even more out of reach.
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