Tuesday, 20 August 2019

From paint to wood, Trump tariffs could mean higher home remodeling costs

Thinking about remodeling your home — redoing a bathroom or the kitchen? Or maybe purchasing a new home from a builder? Or simply buying new appliances?

Then get ready to dig deeper into your wallet as the Trump administration’s new $200 billion in tariffs begin to flow through to hundreds of the products that go into your planned project. They range from iron nails to flooring to granite countertops, tiles, sinks, roofing, cement, paints, cabinets, wooden and steel doors, windows, lighting, appliances and much more. And get ready to negotiate with remodelers and builders about “allowances” and escalation clauses as vendor pricing and availability of these imports become more difficult to predict.

New estimates from the National Association of Home Builders indicate that of the 6,000 items on the list of goods imported from China that are now subject to tariffs, 463 are “ubiquitous” in home construction and remodeling. They total roughly $10 billion in expenditures a year nationwide. If the White House raises the tariff to 25 percent from the current 10 percent early next year as threatened, “the industry-wide cost increase would be $2.5 billion,” according to David Logan, director of tax and trade policy analysis for the home builders group.

Tim Ellis, president of T.W. Ellis in Forest Hill, Md., a remodeling firm that specializes in kitchens and home additions, estimates that the latest round of tariffs — along with the existing levies on Canadian lumber — now affect somewhere between 15 and 20 percent of the products in a typical project for his firm. They have the potential to increase costs to the consumer by anywhere from 5 to 10 percent or more, depending upon what the client selects.

Source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/realestate/ct-re-1007-kenneth-harney-20181007-story.html

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