Lowndes County - Bill Gandy has been in construction for 35 years, but he's never paid as much for building supplies as he is now. "I don't remember anytime we've seen back to back category 4 and 5 hurricanes hitting the states like we have this year," said Gandy.
Since Hurricane Katrina hit, the cost of building supplies has skyrocketed. Gandy and his partner John Bailey are now paying about 20 percent more for materials, and with Hurricane Rita headed for Texas, things will likely get worse. "I expect it to keep climbing for the next six months at least, if not longer," said John Bailey.
Two weeks ago, contractors paid about $11.00 for a sheet of plywood, but this week, that price has climbed to $18.00. "Roofing shingles are going up three to four dollars a square, 15 to 30 pound felt, it goes up about four to five dollars a roll," said Bailey.
These contractors are absorbing the extra costs for customers who've already locked in at a price, but they can't keep it up much longer. "We like to give a lock in price so the home owner can know exactly what there home's going to cost, but this year, we are going to have to make a change," said Bailey.
"We're going to start putting escalation clauses in our contracts to cover some things," said Gandy.
Not only are building supplies costing more, they're also taking longer to arrive. "I've talked to guys who I order from who say year, we can order a truckload of shingles but the manufacturer tells them, we'll get them there when we get them there," said Gandy.
So if you're in the market to build a new home, be prepared to pay more, and wait longer.