Construction projects paused as material costs increase

Reporter: Erika Jackson Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:

Construction workers and companies are facing challenges during the pandemic trying to finish their projects. Back-ordered items have workers waiting months to finish their projects.

In some cases, prices skyrocket up 400% during that waiting period.

Six weeks down, six months to go. Caryn Huff-Sufferling is overseeing the construction of Charlotte County’s New Transit Facility Club.

Huff-Sufferling is the president of the Charlotte-DeSoto Building Industry Association.

“Our challenge with this project and really across the board with our other projects right now is building materials, price escalations and material availability,” Huff-Sufferling said.

She and others can blame huge demand for putting pressure on supply.

Brian Gleason is the Communications Manager for Charlotte County. “Just in the last four months, we’ve had more than 200 single-family permits, a month issued,” Gleason said.

Construction is up locally and nationwide. The demand for materials is up as well, which means costs are up too. In some cases, material costs have tripled.

That higher price is now falling onto the builders and buyers.

“We’re trying to secure materials early, even if we have to store some of those materials on site ahead of when we need them,” said Huff-Sufferling.

The spike in prices is also leading to a spike in thefts.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office has responded to an increase of equipment, materials, and even water softeners being stolen from construction sites.

It’s adding to the load for builders who say they haven’t gotten a break. So, they’re asking for your understanding.

“Be patient with your builders, because we’re all really trying to get ahead of this,” Huff-Sufferling said.

They want to build a better future in Charlotte County.

Deputies recommend that builders secure all sites at the end of each day.

If you see something suspicious in your neighborhood, report it to the sheriff’s office.

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