2006 Economic Forecast

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Building material prices are expected to remain high throughout 2006 as a result of the effects of Hurricane Katrina, according to the Association of General Contractors. Widespread shortages of natural gas and crude oil following Katrina caused a 20 to 50 percent spike in the price of PVC piping, roofing and insulation, which is expected to remain near those levels in 2006.

January 01, 2006

Sidebars:
Your Opinion Matters to Us
Update on lead-safe work practices
The Poll

Building material prices are expected to remain high throughout 2006 as a result of the effects of Hurricane Katrina, according to the Association of General Contractors.

Widespread shortages of natural gas and crude oil following Katrina caused a 20 to 50 percent spike in the price of PVC piping, roofing and insulation, which is expected to remain near those levels in 2006. The cost of plywood, drywall, steel and concrete are also expected to remain 20 percent higher than pre-Katrina. Brick, glass, gypsum and wood will be 5 to 10 percent higher than before.

 

Your Opinion Matters to Us

Beginning this month, 5-Minute Update will feature a reader poll in every issue.

To cast your vote — and view the current results as they are tabulated — simply log on to our new Professional Remodeler Web site ProRemodeler.com. We'll publish the final results of this month's question in the February issue's 5-Minute Update.

If you'd like to suggest a topic for future poll questions, or if you have a comment or opinion regarding this month's topic, please contact Editor in Chief Mike Morris at 630/288-8057 or michael.morris@reedbusiness.com.


Update on lead-safe work practices

The Home Builders Association of Greater Chicagoland recently hosted a seminar on lead-safe work practices for its local Remodelors Council, and the news was both good and bad.

The NAHB's Gary Suskauer, on hand for the class, said the effects of the EPA's impending rule on lead safety for the renovation of pre-1978 housing likely wouldn't be felt by remodelers for at least two more years. The contractors in attendance, however, were less than thrilled upon learning some of the potential safeguards they would be forced to adopt in order to comply with stricter standards. Workers could be forced to wear hazmat suits and respirators, which will drive up costs and slow down production, in addition to using HEPA vacuums, spray bottles, plastic dropcloths and having to seal off the work area to contain airborne lead particles. Mandatory post-project clearance tests could also be instituted by the EPA to enforce compliance.

Suskauer said the NAHB will likely issue an update on its plan to test some applicable renovation jobs at the International Builders' Show in Orlando in January.


The Poll

Which area of your business would you most like to improve heading into 2006?

  1. Sales
  2. Marketing
  3. Customer Satisfaction
  4. Project Management
  5. Hiring Practices
  6. Construction Quality
  7. Business/Finance/Profits
  8. Other
  • To cast your vote and view the results as they are tabulated, visit www.ProRemodeler.com

  • Comments on: "2006 Economic Forecast"

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