I suspect you like me will be glad to see 2020 come to an end as this year has become a cauldron of Covid, conflict and controversy. As I assess the reality of all of this, I am confronted daily with the impact our new abnormal has had on the building industry. In a nutshell it has slowed us down and increased costs across the board.

Allow me a few observations. The Covid pandemic either slowed or shut down the flow of building materials. As we sheltered in place, we now have taken the time to look around and see the “honey do” list long overdue or the upgrades we had envisioned to make our homes more comfortable. When we ventured out to purchase deck boards or interior finish materials we were hit with greatly increased costs and low or no inventory. I have seen pressure treated material increase by 300 percent if you can get it. Sheet goods like plywood or OSB are now twice the usual amount if you can get it. Add to this an overly active hurricane season and it has only gotten worst.

Many of the items necessary to complete a newly constructed house now have greatly exaggerated lead times. Kitchen appliances that we could get delivery in several days are now 12 weeks out.

Another direct impact of Covid is Covid. I am personally aware of several construction workers that have contracted the virus…essentially removing from the work force what was considered an essential worker. Likewise, I have had clients that have contracted the virus, with the consequence of shutting the job down for 2 weeks or more.

Now consider the cultural conflict focused in our cities. The recent riots that have decimated whole neighborhoods or shut down large areas within a downtown area have created a movement. Not political, but demographic. When you no longer feel safe you look for safety. The lifestyle of the inner city is no longer desirable. The consequence of urbane unrest has created demand for sub-urban and more preferably rural living, with a gate. This has increased the demand for new housing outside the city in record numbers. Get in line.

As Americans, we are about choice and convenience. We want what we want. And we want what we want when we want it. Amazon has trained us well. This expectation has been hugely disrupted and I suspect will not return for some time. This is when I ask you to have patience. As builders we want your house to come in on budget and on time. We will always do our best to keep you informed.

Michael Grant
Modern Rustic Homes