"The slate was wiped clean after the destruction to properties caused by two hurricanes in less than a year to Grenada and its sister isles resulting in an economic boom in the construction industry that spread throughout the Grenada.” According to Construction consultant Brendan McKinley.
“During reconstruction thousands of properties needed extensive repairs. Many homeowners took the opportunity to have additional work done such as turning the space underneath their home into living accommodation which also acts as a hurricane shelter, replacing their roofs and renovating other parts of the house which was left in a mess. Placing even more pressure on what already was a strong-demand market for key building materials.
With thousands of homes and businesses in need of reconstruction, the high demand for labour and key building materials such as cement, lumber and steel left many building contractors with uncompleted projects.
As a result of the shortage, prices of key materials spiralled. Contractors struggled with ballooning costs on fixed-price jobs, they tried to pass them along later, which caused a ripple effect in the cost of public and private construction. The ripple extended to rental rates increases for office buildings and higher construction costs for new homes and renovations.
Building costs increased over 20 percent during the past year. The reliance on building material imports increases vulnerabilities to local market risks. Contractors are demanding that we have a couple of cement manufacturing plants, perhaps one in St. Andrew’s and one in St. Georges.” says Brandon McKinley.
“Homeowners also requested high quality roofing materials, and were disappointed in the quality and range that was imported and very often homeowners spend a considerable amount of money on large external walls, that add little or no value, whereas the cost could be more practically spent on the roof.
The effects of these natural disasters also impacted negatively on our schools, hospitals and other essential services. This experience should serve as the perfect opportunity to establish an overall long term strategy to rebuild the country into a modern Caribbean island ready for the global climate that is changing so rapidly. We should not be looking back in 10 years time saying if only we did this or that.”