What is Causing Home Improvement Costs to Skyrocket – and What You Can Do About It

Skywalker Windows and Siding

Home improvement project costs just keep rising

We mentioned in our last blog that home improvement costs are rising in 2022, and in fact that’s really been the case for many years, long before COVID-19 ever showed up. Even so, the recent couple of years of skyrocketing home improvement prices certainly can be attributed – at least in part – to residual pandemic impacts. But now that we’re (hopefully) coming out of the COVID era, does that mean home improvement costs will finally start coming down? Unfortunately, we’ve seen no sign of that so far in 2022.

The reality is that commodity prices have risen – and are still rising – across the board, including everything from lumber, to paint, to adhesives and sealants, to metal, to glass, to fuel.


Inflation has arrived, and it’s hurting everyone’s feelings

Inflation hasn’t just arrived in America – it actually reached a four-decade high of 8.5% in March of 2022. The good news (if you can call it that) is that inflation moderated to 8.3% in April, but economic experts aren’t expecting inflation to ease very much this year. Trying to understand the causes of inflation can really make your head hurt. Many people who have studied markets and the economy for years still don’t know all the ins and outs of how inflation is calculated. But whether we can explain how inflation works or not, we all feel the aftereffects of inflation as a society, including consumers, homeowners, business owners, and everybody else.


A few key inflation price hikes that are driving up the cost of improvement projects

While some industries are beginning to rebound from the pandemic, the home improvement trade is still facing ongoing supply chain issues and price increases. We looked at some price index data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in our last blog, but let’s dig deeper and look more closely at price inflation impacts for building materials in particular. Building material costs have risen by over 31 percent between 2020 and 2022; that’s an ugly fact, but a fact nonetheless. 

Here are a few key construction material price hikes that are adding to current remodeling and structural improvement budgets:

• Concrete

If you’re needing to lay a concrete foundation or use concrete in some other aspects of your home improvement project, just expect to pay more than you would’ve in previous years. The price index grew by 7.6 percent in 2021, and has increased another 4 percent in 2022.

• Gypsum

Need some new drywall, plaster, or ceiling tiles? Gypsum is used in the fabrication of these products, and gypsum prices have increased by more than 20 percent over the last year.

• Lumber

You’ve probably already familiar with lumber shortages and lumber price increases stemming from pandemic impacts. Unfortunately, the situation hasn’t improved much in 2022. Thanks to continued supply chain issues combined with heightened demand, labor shortages, and high tariffs, lumber prices – especially softwood – have continued to climb in recent months. In fact, prices rose nearly 80 percent between September 2021 and January 2022.

• Steel

Steel mill products used in building framing, roofing, window framing, doors, and more have come up nearly 75 percent since 2021. The good news is that prices in this category have finally begun to decline, but they’re still significantly higher than they were a year ago to date.

• Paint

The price for exterior paint has increased by 30 percent since 2021, and interior paint prices have gone up by 20 percent over the same time span.

• Insulation Materials

If you’re planning to do any remodeling of your interior space, you may want to add some additional insulation to improve energy efficiency. Just know that this will cost you more up front; insulation prices have risen nearly 18 percent since early 2021.

• Plastic Construction Materials

Plastics and vinyl products are used for all sorts of building applications, ranging from PVC pipes, to seals, to windows, doors, siding, roofing, and more. There’s lots to like about plastic and vinyl, but the downside is that plastic construction material prices have risen by nearly 36 percent between early 2021 and early 2022.

• Hardware and Tools

Unfortunately, the cost of nuts, bolts, and tools has risen as well. From February 2021 to February 2022, the average price of building hardware and tools rose nearly 9 percent.


So, what can you do about it?

Honestly, there’s not much of anything you can do to prevent elevated construction material prices from rising even higher. That being said, you’re really left with two options:

• Wait, and hope that prices will go down.

You can just try waiting and hoping, but there are really no guarantees that this strategy will get you anywhere. Demand for remodeling projects really spiked during the stay-at-home phase of the pandemic, and that demand hasn’t waned any in 2022. The trend for increased remodeling expenditures actually began way back in 2015, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. And as long as demand is high, there’s really no reason for material prices to come down in a free market economy. If anything, windows, vinyl siding, and fiber cement siding prices are all forecasted to increase as we go through 2022.

• Book your home improvement project NOW to avoid having to deal with any further price hikes!

Honestly, your best strategy is to go ahead and get your home improvement project scheduled now! Window replacement cost, door replacement cost, siding replacement cost, deck & porch addition cost, roof replacement cost, etc., aren’t likely to come down anytime soon. In fact, most every business insider you ask will tell you that prices for these essential products and services will only increase over time.


So no, it really doesn’t pay to wait, or put off your project. The best time to schedule any home improvement or business improvement services you need is really RIGHT NOW!


Need Reliable Installation or Replacement Services in NC or VA? Look No Further Than Skywalker Windows & Siding!

By locking in current pricing with a reputable windows contractor, siding contractor, or general home improvement contractor now, you’ll be able to avoid any future price increases entirely. In other words, the best way to save money is to act now!

Looking for the best local home improvement services provider in NC and VA? Skywalker Windows & Siding is the name you can trust! We serve all of the North Carolina Piedmont Triad, Research Triangle, Lake Norman area, and much of southern Virginia, and we’d be honored to take care of your needs too. Nobody performs better workmanship than our team of trained specialists, and nobody provides better customer service, either. Give us a call today at (336) 627-5596, and experience the Skywalker difference for yourself!

Luke Wilson

Luke Wilson

Owner - Skywalker Windows and Siding

Luke Wilson started working on roofs with his dad when he was a teenager, and eventually launched Skywalker Roofing in 2003. Skywalker operates in 5 locations across NC & VA, and now includes windows, siding, and other exterior services. Luke also hosts the popular Roofing Mythbusters series on YouTube.


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