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Have COVID building prices gone up? Lake Superior views from Lutsen's Moose Mountain
Maeby the cat
Lucy "Dog"

How much have COVID building prices gone up?

First, a quick story

Hey, my fellow construction aficionados!

Welcome to MEBA Design News, your go-to source for all things construction. I’m here to answer your questions, share my opinions, and keep you in the loop with the latest updates. Let’s get started!

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday season. Speaking of holidays, let me tell you about last winter’s ski trip over Christmas. We were all geared up for an exciting ski adventure at Lutsen Mountain in Minnesota, with slope-side accommodations—ski in and ski out, can you believe it?

But, as fate would have it, heavy winter weather hit, and it was no ordinary storm—it was a “bomb cyclone”! Now, that’s what you call an adventure! To add to the excitement, we decided to bring our lovely pets, Maeby and Lucille, along for the ride. Cats and dogs on a ski trip? Why not!

Thankfully, we were prepared for any potential mishaps, but guess what? We still got stranded along the way. It was an experience, to say the least. When we finally reached our destination, the high winds caused power outages, and the ski lifts were a no-go due to falling trees. So, our ski-themed trip transformed into a cozy rustic week by the fire—a different kind of adventure altogether.

And you know what? Life’s full of surprises, isn’t it? Sometimes, you just have to adapt and make the best of the situation. It’s a valuable lesson that we can apply to every aspect of our lives.

Now, onto some common construction questions I often get asked:

How much have building prices gone up because of COVID?

Oh, boy, have COVID building prices gone up and this has definitely left its mark on the construction industry. One significant factor I keep an eye on is the cost of framing lumber, and let me tell you, it’s been quite a ride. Due to COVID inflation, framing lumber prices have shot up to a staggering 16 times their traditional average. Remember when you could buy a stud for a dollar? Not anymore! Nowadays, it’s closer to three to four dollars each.

If you’re planning a project, be sure to consider these rising costs while budgeting. But don’t worry—I’m here to help. Shoot me an email at [email protected], and I’ll gladly provide you with an indicative range to assist with your planning and budgeting.

Have COVID building prices gone up?
Not So Big house - School Street

Who is the architect that has inspired me the most?

This one’s easy! The architect who has inspired me the most is the amazing Sarah Susanka of Not So Big fame. She’s not just an architect but also a fantastic teacher and author of various books and DVD series.

Sarah’s designs are something else! Her knack for balancing the scale of a house with its practicality for the family living in it is truly impressive. She’s all about maximizing space with lots of built-in storage and creating flexible open-plan living spaces.

But here’s the real gem from Sarah that I absolutely love—every open-plan design needs an “Away Space.” It’s a space that can be closed off from the rest of the house, offering a quiet retreat to escape noise and enjoy some solitude. Trust me, this simple concept can make a world of difference in how you feel about your home.

That’s it for this month’s newsletter. I hope you found it insightful and enjoyable. Have COVID building prices gone up for you? Perhaps a Not So Big home is right for you. Remember, life’s an adventure, and we’re all in it together!

Until next time, Mark

Making a Plan

When you are considering your family’s new home, you can take steps to organize the journey and ensure you make the most of your efforts.

  • Assess needs
  • Diagnose challenges
  • Conceive solutions
  • Prepare budget
  • Create action plan

Use tools to help gather and organize your thoughts and priorities. There are a plethora of tools and sources that are useful in planning. From spreadsheets, photo organizers, and websites like Pinterest, Instagram, and Houzz to name a few. As you collect your source images, be sure to add notes describing their value to you. What is it about each selected image making it worthy of referencing. We use advanced visual communication toolsBetter Tools for Renovations and Additions to ensure full understanding.

List the responsibilities and interests of each member of your family. Envision your best life, unconstrained by the limits of your existing home. Don’t limit your options with doubts or concerns about the budget. It’s best to get everything out onto the table so you can assess and prioritize. Doing this ensures that the most important things are not overshadowed or obscured by the less important. This clarity promotes value-based decision making.

Avoiding Disaster

Consider upcoming life events and how they may affect your needs. Make a note of frustrating or irritating conditions that fail to satisfy the way you live. A good plan addresses your current needs. An inspired program takes into account the future.

Most homes are notoriously short on storage, and we have but two options to resolve this. The first is to clear out the clutter. The second is to organize and make a place for those things valued enough to retain. We often find storage spaces being sacrificed or underappreciated during the design phase. The thought being “we’ll find a place for that after we move in.”

Remember that our homes are a collection of systems. They shelter us from the elements, keep us comfortable, inspire and support every aspect of our daily lives. Most of these systems are not apparent to us and do not enter our consciousness. Until, that is, they cause us discomfort.

Vision for a Better Future

Our homes and lives are at risk of becoming exercises in compromise and inevitable discontent. Necessity is the mother of invention. Take the time to create your perfect dream home thoughtfully. 

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