Tariffs Trouble Building Industry

September 25, 2018
Quartz
Photo: Unsplash/Lala V

The latest round of tariffs on goods imported from China affects roughly $10 billion in products related to home building and remodeling, per the National Association of Home Builders.  

The tariff currently stands at 10 percent, but experts say it may rise to 25 percent by December 2018, translating to a $2.5 billion tax increase on the building and remodeling industry, writes Diana Olick for CNBC. In addition to the elevated costs for Canadian lumber, steel, and aluminum imports, the new tariffs make lighting fixtures, cabinets, HVAC equipment, tile, and wall and floorboards more expensive. Granite, marble, and especially quartz countertops are also becoming more costly, as quartz in particular is subject to import duties and tariffs. 

Contractor Justin Sullivan manages home renovation projects in the Washington, D.C., area and says costs are going up so much so fast that he is doing something he has never done in his more than a decade in the remodeling business. "Clients and contractors are having to set contracts with escalation clauses for projects that are being scheduled for six months from now, largely because we're not sure how far prices are going to go north," he said.

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