As Louisiana-based builders begin the rebuilding process following Hurricane Ida, the head of the Home Builders Association of Greater Baton Rouge says more delays and higher costs can be expected for both builders and buyers. David Jacobs, of the Baton Rouge Business Report, spoke with Karen Zito, the association’s president and CEO, who stated that most local builders had already raised prices, pre-ordered materials, and implemented escalation clauses in sales contracts. The hurricane aftermath will only exacerbate those issues in the coming weeks and months.

Todd Waguespack, managing partner for Baton Rouge-based Level Homes, says his company has been “doing fine” when it comes to maintaining its workforce, but he expects to lose people seeking work in the post-storm recovery, at least temporarily. He says he saw a similar dynamic play out last year when Hurricane Laura devastated southwest Louisiana.

Waguespack also has been dealing with supply shortages, a problem he fears will only get worse in Ida’s aftermath. Windows, garage doors and appliances are among the items that have been difficult to get, he says.

“Every day it’s a different battle,” Waguespack says.

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