Before March of 2020, this was probably a non-issue. Homeowners who had a home construction project on their bucket list had no hesitation when it came time to break ground.

The same can't be said post-March 2020. Initially, when the pandemic hit, many homeowners decided to go forward with those projects. This was mainly driven by the fact that so many of us were stuck at home in quarantine.

But along with that demand came rising costs. And that rise wasn't solely due to less product, but a factor of things including sawmills cutting production as a result of no staff.

Those effects are still felt today. Lumber prices aren't as steady and predictable as they once were, and inflation remains high.

Scott Olson/Getty Images
Scott Olson/Getty Images

This is a situation many in New Jersey find themselves in today. Although projects are planned, high costs make it tough to move forward.

I'm among that group of Jerseyans. Just before the pandemic hit, we were all set to go on a home addition. At the time, the overall cost wasn't too bad.

Now if we had a crystal ball to look into the future, I would've floored it on getting our project done. Unfortunately, I don't think any of us saw what was about to happen across the globe.

Coronavirus Virus Outbreak

The main reason we didn't go forward was simple. We wanted to wait for the right moment so we could time it around the school schedule. But thanks to the pandemic, along with high prices and supply shortages that followed, we still haven't broken ground.

Ground breaking of inclusive LGBTQ+ park space at Cedar Brook Park, Plainfield Photo Credit: David Pilmenstein/County of Union
Groundbreaking of inclusive LGBTQ+ park space at Cedar Brook Park, Plainfield
Photo Credit: David Pilmenstein/County of Union

In fact, when we received an updated estimate on our project in July of 2020, the overall cost had nearly tripled. It was so much higher it wasn't even worth moving forward.

Ingram Publishing
Ingram Publishing

Costs were a little more reasonable during the summer of 2021. Still high, but not what it was a year before. We decided to move forward with the kitchen remodel we had planned instead. At least something would get done, right?

That's when another supply chain backlog hit, and we were forced to hit the pause button yet again. So we ended up going two years without anything started.

plumber with tool belt standing in bathroom

Finally, in March 2022, we're able to move forward with the kitchen portion of our project. The cost is higher than we originally hoped, but at this point, we just have to do something.

As for our full addition, that's still on hold. Hopefully, prices mellow out to a reasonable level soon, but who knows. Lumber, by far, has been the biggest killer when it comes to overall costs.

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Getty Images

So how about you? Have you been holding out on construction projects due to inflation?

And for those not planning a home project at this time, would today's high prices be a factor assuming you wanted to move forward with something? Let us know.

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