I just returned from a 3-day trip to Napa, California, and when I travel for more than perhaps one or two nights I try to stay somewhere other than a hotel.  VRBO, airbnb, etc. are valuable assets for finding a place to stay, and I make it a point to search out contemporary residences if they are in my search area and price range.

Something stuck out to me in the neighborhood around the house we rented – residential construction and renovation seemed to be everywhere!   Across the street hung a local architect’s sign and inside I could hear sounds of new drywall going up.  Down the street from that house sat multiple pods in the driveways, storing owner’s belongings or tools while projects were underway.  Then this morning I booted up my computer and received an e-mail from Builder Magazine that included this article titled “DALLAS BESTS HOUSTON AS TOP U.S. HOME BUILDING MARKET”.


And it makes sense too – go outside your home and take a look around.  If you’re in Plano, Dallas, Ft. Worth, or in between, I bet you can see the signs of a neighbor doing some renovation project or a new build taking shape down the street.  According to a study the article references, nearly 29,000 new houses will be built in Dallas-Ft. Worth in 2016.


That’s a lot of new houses, and doesn’t even count the tens of thousands of renovations that will likely take place in 2016.  What does that mean for you, if you are thinking of starting something later in 2016?  Here are my best guesses:

1. Higher and/or rising labor costs.  Demand seems to be outpacing supply, so the existing labor pool is going full-throttle and rates will likely keep going up.  I certainly doubt labor rates may drop any time soon.

2. Material & commodity prices will rise.  The cost of concrete seems to be ever-higher than the last time I heard what a truckload cost, and this means your foundation cost goes up maybe even by the month if you wait on a project.  You may want to start digging sooner rather than later!

3. You may have to wait longer for good design services.  All those new custom projects out there require design services and there are only so many architects, interior designers, and landscape architects to go around.  Good news for me I guess, as I’m going to possibly stay busy (but not so busy that you shouldn’t inquire about your own project with Fifth Dimension!)  But you may interpret things differently if you have to wait a little while before a designer can start your project.

Bottom line – it never hurts to plan ahead.  Start your design project far enough ahead of requested due dates.  Budget for material costs and add a pad for future price increases.  And once you are ready to build, get your contract in writing including what happens if commodity prices spike (or plummet).


Here is another article with survey data from Re/Max – home sales are up, home prices are up (remember the increasing commodity cost, and increasing demand?), and inventories are down across most major metropolitan areas.  Food for thought as you plan your next move!


This post was originally written before re-branding as Eckxstudio for Modern Architecture at the end of 2017.

At Eckxstudio for Modern Architecture, we design unique and stunning projects, individually crafted for our clients’ lives. We’re passionate about listening to your needs, wants and desires as inspiration to design the dream home you’ll never want to leave.