One of the biggest drivers of construction costs over the last 4 or five years has been new regulations and standards for construction. The state of Massachusetts has undergone numerous code changes since 2010 and each change has only served to increase construction costs. The regulatory changes started with the implementation of the high wind zones on the Cape and most recently the building industry has adopted the latest International Building and Energy Codes which totally change the way homes are built when compared to past codes. When you combine the impact of these changes with material prices that have increased about 25% over the last 5 years, it is easy to figure out why any type of construction work is so expensive.
The homes we are building now are much more airtight and have much better energy performance than in the past, but at what cost? Air quality will continue to be an issue in the future, and controlled fresh air exchange will be the key to a healthy indoor environment.
So how do you build for a reasonable cost? We strongly believe that the key is efficient design and use of spaces and a constant look to the future and new products and materials that can bring the cost back into the realm of possibility. Partnering with a Design-Build firm such as REEF, will also be important, because of the access to real time cost data and daily interaction with the various regulatory agencies that enforce these new codes.
The National Association of Home Builders recently released a study that shows the specific impact of regulations on new homes. Did you know that almost 25% of the cost of your new home is directly attributed to regulatory issues? If you want to find out more, please below