Building Prices Are Going Up Because of Hurricane Recovery

By: Donna Davis
By: Donna Davis

The price of renovating your home is about to go up. The Florida Home Builders Association anticipates higher prices as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Raw materials, already in short supply, will be in demand as the rebuilding begins.

Cedric Stephens spent last year renovating his entire home.

“If we had to start all over and remodel everything we did in this house as of today, we just couldn’t afford it. It would be too expensive.”

In the middle of his remodeling, Cedric says material costs jumped dramatically after last year’s hurricanes. Florida’s home builders say the price hikes, especially for cement, translate to an extra $5,000 for a new home.

Edie Osley of the Florida Homebuilders Association says Katrina is expected to make things worse.

“Floridians should prepare themselves to see price increases in construction products.”

Osley says everything from concrete to plywood and shingles will be in short supply. The reason is simple.

“The country is about to take on the largest reconstruction project in modern day history.”

The median sale price of a home in Florida shot up 33 percent since last summer. The higher costs have Gov. Jeb Bush concerned about Florida families not being able to afford a home.

“The cost of developing, home building, and construction has increased significantly over the last 18 months. Katrina won’t help it at all.”

Schools face the same problem. Skyrocketing costs at a time they are forced to build thousands of new rooms to meet class size requirements.

Gov. Bush has maintained all along the class size amendment isn’t a good use of tax dollars. When asked today if he has any new “devious” plans to de-rail the amendment this time, Bush replied, “Yeah, there may be a couple.”

Tuesday, the Board of Education approved spending almost $2 billion to build new classrooms to meet the demands of the class size amendment.


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