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Building Beyond the Pandemic

The Covid 19 Pandemic has changed the building industry in a myriad of ways, and created a number of challenges. But what does the future hold for homebuilding?

Sean Sullivan, owner of Living Stone Design + Build has been building homes steadily throughout the pandemic, giving him special insight when it comes to building post-pandemic.

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Indoor Air Quality

Since the pandemic, a healthy living and working environment has shifted to the forefront of many people’s priorities. Sean has seen an uptick in concern about indoor air quality among his clients. “They want homes that breathe, homes with filtration systems, homes with minimal toxins in the air. Think aboutit this way, do you eat organic…?”

Multigenerational Living

For a variety of reasons, multigenerational living was trending even before the pandemic began. “That trend has been amplified over the past year,” Sean says. We see even more adult children moving back in with parents and older parents moving in with their grown children. Everyone wants to be together and take care of each other.”

Depending on the family’s specific needs, a multigenerational home could mean an accessory dwelling unit that’s separate from the main house, a separate floor with full kitchen elements, or a garage apartment.
“Many times, it involves creating an aging-in place design for older generations, with options for in-home health or some type of assisted living so they can stay in the house as long as possible,” says Sean.

Work-From-Home Balance

The number of people working from home increased dramatically during the pandemic. For many professionals, the change has opened up a whole new set of possibilities.

“After staying home and zooming, people realized they had options,” says Sean. “They didn’t have to go sit in an office somewhere to do their jobs.”

This new-found flexibility has led to a surprising trend. “People are moving up their timelines for their dream homes,” says Sean. “There’s no need to put off their goals until they retire or change careers. As more professionals settle into permanent work-from-home positions, I think the number of people who will relocate and build in their dream location will only increase.”

Enduring Challenges

Some challenges that came along with the pandemic may just outlive it. “Product availability issues will persist for a while,” notes Sean. “Commodities like lumber have come back down a little in price, but inflation is here and here to stay, and it’s raising the prices of homes and goods in general across the board.”

Labor shortages, too, have caused extended problems. “The building industry in Asheville is always busy, and there’s a higher demand for labor on our limited trades.”
Put together, these problems are causing delays, added costs, and added headaches, with no surefire solution on the horizon.

A Good Time to Build?

Some challenges that came along with the pandemic may just outlive it. “Product availability issues will persist for a while,” notes Sean. “Commodities like lumber have come back down a little in price, but inflation is here and here to stay, and it’s raising the prices of homes and goods in general across the board.”

Labor shortages, too, have caused extended problems. “The building industry in Asheville is always busy, and there’s a higher demand for labor on our limited trades.”
Put together, these problems are causing delays, added costs, and added headaches, with no surefire solution on the horizon.

This article was published in our Collaborative Living Magazine. Click here to request a mailed copy of our most recent publication.