Trends in construction costs

By Mandelyn Gerhart

Material and labor costs are contributing to higher construction costs in Fairfield and Westchester County.

Reconstruction cost – or replacement cost – is the cost of hiring a contractor to replace your home as it is, using materials and design of the same or similar quality. This amount is not the same as market value, which is the value of comparable homes that have sold in your area. Your home’s current reconstruction cost could be very different from its market value.  The cost of construction in Westport, CT may be the same as Scarsdale, NY but the retail value will differ.

The U.S. economy is growing, unemployment is low, wages are up and all signs point to increased construction activity and costs. Supply issues in all facets of construction – building lots, labor and materials – are affecting these activities.

As a result, construction costs are rising. Material cost increases are the highest they have been in six years, and labor is more difficult to find. It was challenging to secure labor and materials before the hurricanes and wildfires in 2017. Now repairs and rebuilding efforts are putting even more stress on construction costs.

2018 construction trends:

Because builders and contractors will undoubtedly adjust their costs to match the construction industry, we want to share a few trends that could affect how they conduct business in Fairfield and Westchester County:

Improving technologies

There is no doubt technological advancements have improved construction methods — from mobile technologies to the Cloud and the ability to communicate across multiple venues. In fact, we can expect to see more virtual reality and augmented reality use for projects. Advances in technologies like 3D printing, drone use, self-driving vehicles and more efficient coatings for specific surfaces will affect construction costs.

Increased spending growth

Construction demands continue to increase worldwide, for both residential and non-residential building.  Especially when it comes to coastal homes in New England, the current regulations for construction have increased the cost per square foot.

Increased modular construction

Because speed is a major factor in construction, the industry likely will see more modular construction projects. Pop-ups and permanent modular buildings for national companies could become the hottest construction trend. These types of construction are becoming much more energy-efficient, which is always attractive to homebuyers and commercial businesses.

Increased safety measures

According to Lorman Education Services, statistics still show construction as the leader in all industry workplace accidents. This is expected to slowly improve for the coming year with better technologies and procedures. Safety mobile apps can help prevent accidents and provide better communication and OSHA compliance.


Price increases for supplies and skilled labor shortages are plaguing the construction industry. To reduce expenses, there are technologies that can better track equipment and how laborers work. For example, some popular wearable technologies are the Spot-R by Triax™, XOEye Smart Glasses and DAQRI Smart Helmet. More thorough metrics and monitoring are likely the key to offsetting rising costs.

For more information reach out to Daigle & Travers Insurance.  We have three convenient locations in Connecticut: Wilton, Darien, and Westport.  One of our many experienced insurance professionals will be able to guide you through the insurance process.  We can be reached at 203-655-6974 or at