Contractors feeling the pain from rising gas prices

Builder says the higher cost of materials, along with a shortage of willling workers makes it even tougher

ITAWAMBA COUNTY, MISS. (WCBI) – For Ernie Simmons, rising prices means he has to pass that on to his clients.

“It has increased a lot, substantially,” Simmons said.

Simmons is co-owner of “FIXNA2Z’  His company does repairs, remodeling, and renovations on homes.  He has been in the contracting and construction business for more than thirty years but says in the last year and a half, higher gas prices and skyrocketing costs for building materials have taken a bite out of his bottom line.

“We had it good, today, it’s not good anymore. When we charge a homeowner, with an estimate for remodeling, and renovations, we get our labor fee, then the materials are added on.  If materials are exponentially high, the estimate is exponentially high as well,” he said.

As if rising prices for gas and building materials weren’t bad enough by themselves, Simmons says it’s also a challenge to find workers for his jobs.

“We’re forced to pay them a much higher wage now and they’re working a few days and now they make what they used to make and they’re not coming back for the rest of the days or they made enough to last for a little while. They want the check, they stand there all day long but at the end of the day, say where’s their check?” Simmons said.

Simmons is doing what he can to save money.  He has a grill on the job site, to cook his own lunch, so he won’t have to buy it.

Simmons is hoping gas prices will level off, and even drop, but he’s not holding his breath.

According to the National Association of Home Builders,  prices for building materials have gone up nineteen percent since last year.



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