The last few years has been an exasperating market for most builders in south Florida. Potential clients expect to have work implemented for at or below cost because they have been conditioned by the media that contractors are hurting for work. The amount of work and available construction jobs have declined sharply. Pick up any trade magazine or newspaper and they will show you the pie charts. The tables are slowly turning on the consumer and the construction market will not be declining anytime soon. The turmoil in the Middle East, natural disasters down under, Japan, Haiti and other regions will effect material supply and demand here in the U.S.. Do you think Japan will be ordering a lot of heavy equipment, steel, lumber, drywall and other materials in the next three to five years? Potential job costs will no longer be reduced due to the abundance of building materials. Owners will have to pay more for their upcoming jobs because the rise in fuel costs and the aforementioned natural disasters will contribute to the cost and availability of materials. The high cost of oil will affect every man-made material including steel, plastic based materials, drywall, raw materials and concrete. The picnic is over for the consumer. We have been alerted that material costs are rising and will be rising on a quarterly basis. The material manufacturer’s and suppliers will be trying to recoup some of their losses. As homes and commercial properties, deteriorate and renovations are necessary the rise in cost to repair will have to be absorbed by the home and business owner. Labor cost are going to rise to offset the rise in fuel, waste, insurance, and overhead costs. So here’s to all that waited to do your work. The free lunch is over.