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Recovering after Hurricane Florence

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Several factors will contribute to construction costs being 10% higher than replacement costs in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. 

According to a report prepared by Governor Roy Cooper, the early damage estimates to North Carolina’s businesses and infrastructure from Hurricane Florence stand at $12.7 billion. The report provides sector-by-sector assessments and discusses available funding sources. Design firms looking to provide services for recovery efforts can access the full report.

As noted in the report, it is assumed that construction costs will be 10% higher than anticipated replacement costs. This is attributed to a shortage of available construction services and an increase in the costs of raw material and labor. The report also anticipates that construction costs are likely to be driven up further by the impact of tariffs on the prices of lumber, steel, aluminum, and other building materials.

Design firms should be very cautious if they provide cost estimates as part of their professional services. Clients should understand that estimates may not necessarily take into account the additional factors noted above that could significantly increase the client’s costs.