Whether or not you live in an area that experiences hurricanes, you could be effected if you own a home. The high demand for building materials due to hurricanes Harvey and Irma are causing prices to increase.
If you're planning a remodel or major home repairs, you may find the project costs are higher than expected. This can be due to several factors: (1) Supply and Demand gives suppliers an opportunity to increase prices. Although, this may seem like a greedy tactic, it can be "just good business", especially if the supplier has not previously increased prices for a few years, or relies heavily on volume. Temporary and reasonable price increases during shortages can allow financial business growth during the high demand.
(2) Shipping Ports: Florida and the Gulf of Mexico are major ports of call for the US. Many imported materials will arrive through these ports on their way to other parts of the country. Delays in project material availability could extend or delay your project which can create more expense.
At 2 Magnus Renovations, we've seen a 5-15% price increase in plywood, drywall sheets, drywall mud, lumber, and common building materials prior to hurricanes Harvey and Irma. These prices could reach 20% as Houston and southern Florida rebuild.
So what can you do? Research your projects early. Talk to your contractor about material costs and strategies to deal with price and time increases. Read the contract and discuss how your contractor handles material cost increases. Some contractors will split the difference if the cost is over 20%; and some have a contract statement saying the homeowner will pay the difference. If you are agreeing to a Time & Materials billed (T&M) project, create a budget for materials and review it weekly. You may need to change your project goals; even if it's temporary. A good contractor will discuss options, provide guidance, and work with you.