Increasing costs have become evident in every aspect of our lives. In addition to daily expenses like gas and groceries, home improvement costs are escalating across the nation as well.
The cost of construction materials has risen more than 10 percent during the past year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. In addition, the American General Contractors (AGC) of America find that construction costs have increased more than twice the overall consumer price. As the summer months rolled by, construction prices kept increasing. By the end of July, the cost of steel, a material widely used in home construction, had increased more than 90 percent in the past year, according to the AGC.
Transportation expenses are a main contributing factor to increasing home improvement costs. Semis powered by diesel transport many building products and diesel has drastically increased in price. These increases have, in return, been passed to the consumer. When expanding, remodeling or repairing your residence, you can expect the cost of materials for your project to be affected by transportation costs.
Asphalt shingles, which cover nearly 85 percent of roofs in America, are a prime example of a building material with significant price increases. “The price of asphalt shingles has risen due to the dramatic rise in the cost of their main ingredient — asphalt,” says Stephen McNally, vice president of sales and marketing for TAMKO Building Products Inc. The cost of asphalt increased 40 percent within the first two weeks of July alone, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
If you are planning a home improvement, don’t be discouraged by rising costs. Consider purchasing higher-quality products that may cost more initially, but can save you money in the future. Many products are available, but one option that homeowners may not think of as a high-quality product is metal roofing. For example, MetalWorks Steel Shingles, which resemble slate, shake or tile roofing, are an aesthetically-appealing product. They offer energy efficiency and a 50-year limited warranty — two features that may save you money in the long term.
Homeowners planning to delay repair projects in hopes that prices will drop, can expect to pay a higher price the longer they wait. “When the prices of construction materials rise, they don’t fluctuate like gasoline,” says McNally. “These are the kinds of prices that go up and stay up.”
Within the next three years, the cost of cement is estimated to increase 20 percent — iron and steel prices more than 120 percent and copper prices nearly 170 percent — according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index. The rising cost of these raw materials will, in turn, raise the costs for a variety of items used in home improvements.
Whether planning to fix your leaky roof, add a deck for enjoyment or increase your living space, the price of building materials continues to climb. Regardless of the home improvement projects you are considering, it’s important to remember that the longer you delay, the more you’re likely to pay.