In eastern panhandle of West Virginia, home building boom is frantic

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MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) — We’re turning the corner of the pandemic and getting on with our lives. Does that mean a new West Virginia home?

Homebuilders just can’t keep up. Throughout the eastern panhandle, home building permits are up. It’s part of a nationwide post-pandemic trend.

With construction materials, “prices have been a huge impact,” according to Mary Dulyea, president of the Eastern Panhandle Home Builders Association. “Upon everything, but it’s not stopping people from building. Or doing home renovation projects. We are busier than ever.”

Prospective homeowners from the Washington, D.C. market come to the eastern panhandle and are shovel-ready for their new home. Contractors say there is just one problem.

“We can’t keep up,” Dulyea said. “Mainly because of labor shortages. We don’t have enough labor to allow us to take on more jobs.”

Even if they did have the labor, they need supplies — and in many cases that is a struggle on its own.

“We’ve ordered sliding glass doors that we ordered in March and we still don’t them have today and they’re telling us July,” Dulyea explained.

Dulyea said something as basic as an HVAC unit for a home — usually delivered two weeks after ordering — is now taking 2 to 3 months.

Homebuilders are hoping that materials prices will stabilize. Adding to the home builders’ complications are 2017 Trump administration tariffs on Canadian lumber, which is restricting U.S. supply.

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