Home Restoration: Delaying home projects could cost more in the long run

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(ARA) - Been to the grocery store lately? Filled up your vehicle with gas in the last week? It's not your imagination - many of the items you use most often are getting more expensive.  

And near the top of the list of price increases are the building materials that go into remodeling projects and new home construction. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the new home that cost $85,000 to build in 2003 would cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $113,000 to build now, due to residential construction costs jumping 33 percent since 2003.

"We've certainly seen it in our industry," says Kent Blanchard, TAMKO Building Products vice president of roofing manufacturing.  "These increased costs trickle down to the consumer as all of the raw material increases make the end-product more costly to manufacture.
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I'm sure to the consumer it's seemed more like a flood lately."

Prices for nearly all the major building supplies have risen in the last several years, from concrete and asphalt to drywall and insulation. Increasing demand from developing nations like China and Brazil makes it unlikely any price relief will come any time soon.

This is leading to what some analysts are referring to as a projected "sustained rise" in construction project costs and will impact both new construction and remodeling markets in 2011.

Delay and pay ... more
It's a catch-22 for homeowners who may be hesitant to invest in a building project in the middle of a difficult economy, but who also know they will almost certainly pay more for the same project if they wait.

Industry experts recommend consumers not wait to tackle home improvement projects but start first with the projects that provide the most return on investment or address a pressing need.

Back to the basics
When it comes to essentials, there's nothing more crucial to a home or its inhabitants than a roof over their heads. A new roof can be a major selling point and can help protect the rest of your home improvement investments.  

Despite the recent rise in asphalt prices, asphalt shingles continue to be the most popular and cost-efficient roofing choice for the majority of residential buildings. The Heritage Shingle series is one of the most popular asphalt shingles across the U.S. for its durability, traditional wood shake appearance and recently extended limited warranty.

"They look good and perform well," Blanchard says of asphalt shingles.  "You can't beat the combination of performance, appearance and price of a good asphalt shingle. They are the backbone of American roofing."

Another option that may require greater upfront costs, but can reduce costs in the long-term are composite shingles. Composite shingles are made from a special blend of materials ranging from stone to plastic to create long-lasting, durable roofing options. Lamarite shingles by TAMKO can resemble stone slate or wood shake shingles and come in colors rated by Energy-Star and the Cool Roof Rating Council for their ability to lower a building's cooling costs. Lamarite shingles also come with a 50-year limited warranty.

So whether planning to fix your leaky roof, add a deck for enjoyment or increase your living space, remember that $85,000 house in 2003 costs $113,000 today. Regardless of the home improvement projects you are considering, it's important to remember that the longer you delay, the more you're likely to pay. Find Experienced Home Improvement Contractors In Your Area .

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