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Natural disasters across the U.S. will cost you when trying to build a house

Madison (WKOW) — It’s been a disastrous year when it comes to the punches Mother Nature has landed on the United States. From hurricanes, to tornadoes, and now tragic wildfires in California, several thousand homes have been damaged or destroyed. And as the rebuilding phase begins, it won’t only be the homeowners paying the price. You could feel the impact, too. 

It’s all about supply and demand. 

"I’ve never seen anything like this," said Eric Schmidt. He’s the vice president over CG Schmidt, a construction company in Wisconsin. It’s an industry that, according to Schmidt, has seen a six to eight percent inflation rate in the past couple of years. 

But the latest natural disasters could soon raise those rates even more, and they’ll be felt in Wisconsin. 

"Because everything is so interconnected, we will feel the upward pressure on prices," said Schmidt. 

As the demand rises for more building supplies around the disaster zones, the cost for materials everywhere will go up. 

"Materials that go into virtually every home, yes, I think the home suppliers are going to feel the increase in material prices," he said. 

It means ultimately, you’ll end up paying the price if you aren’t already locked in at the current rate for supplies. 

"We have started to received some letters from some of our material suppliers saying, be prepared because we are expecting house increases," said Schmidt. 

It’s too early to know how much, but the impact could hit within the next 12 to 18 months. For now, professionals in the industry say you may want to weigh your options and look at the fine details of you house building contract. 

"Try to identify clauses that may allow the increase of price (for materials) after the price has already been set… Some clauses may include language like, price increases through the act of God," he said. "If they can provide proof to the homeowner that the reason the cost increase of the house, is because of the materials’ increase associated with these natural disasters, which were beyond their control, then they have a legitimate reason to increase the price (of the house)," added Schmidt.


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