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Pandemic delays Big Bend home construction

Supplies slow to reach job sites
Posted at 6:00 PM, Jun 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-16 19:40:17-04

LEON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — New home construction is facing serious challenges, and things will likely not get any better, any time soon.

“The last year has definitely been a journey,” shared Isaac Montilla. Like so many people during this pandemic, he and his wife decided to sell their home and build a new one. “We got a full offer as is. I looked at my wife and said it’s time to move,” he explained.

“I went from living in a house sending my kids to school to living in a camper and homeschooling four kids,” Amanda Montilla added.

They were fans of camping and thought they’d be living in that camper for six months or so. Construction delays brought on by the pandemic prolonged the stay of what could be another four to five months. They’re not alone.

“You have time frames from 8 months to build a home to 18 months or more,” explained Rusty Payton. He is CEO of the Florida Home Builder’s Association. “You have everything from a labor shortage, skyrocketing lumber prices, supply chain issues,” he added.

That shortage has an effect on loans to pay for construction too.

“Some of the contracts that we’re beginning to see in the marketplace are clauses like material escalation,” Payton said. “I can’t tell you it’s going to cost you X amount of money to build a home.”

Despite the delays, the Montillas say they’re enjoying the journey.

“It’s also opened our eyes for us to see how much we don’t need,” Amanda shared.

“Nothing worth having comes easy,” Isaac concluded.

The Montillas say they hope to be in their new home by the holidays.