Steel and aluminum tariffs continue to worry SWFL contractors

Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
Photo via MGN

Southwest Florida contractors worry recent steel and aluminum tariffs will impact their businesses.

Brenden Walker, president of Hammerhead Construction Services, has been busy with new home construction jobs, but believes building may slow down with the rising costs of materials.

“There will be a downward spiral in the other direction,” Brenden said.

More: Trump’s tariffs: What they are and how China is responding

Home builders and buyers said they are feeling the impact after the United States moved forward last year with new import duties on Canadian softwood lumber.

“It absolutely cuts into profits. We had to go back to the owners and renegotiate part of our contract because of the increased costs,” Walker said.

Members of the National Association of Home builders met on Tuesday with the U.S. Commerce Secretary to express their concerns. The price for an average single family home is up nearly $9,000.

“I would assume that you’re probably going to see a 10 to 20 percent increase in home building costs,” Walker said.

Walker said the tariff’s on steel and aluminum have already changed how contractors do business.

Builders used to lock in the price of materials months in advance, but that’s no longer the case.

“Now, they won’t do that. They’ll give us three weeks or maybe four weeks if I’m lucky, but that’s it because there’s so much volatility that no one wants to get caught,” Walker said.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.