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Homebuilders race to keep up with demand after Marshall Fire

As building permits are issued in Boulder County, builders are busy and booked by homeowners ready to rebuild after the Marshall Fire.

LOUISVILLE, Colo — If you measure progress by the number of signs builders have put up on empty lots in Boulder County, neighborhoods in Louisville are on their way to recovery.  

"We’re ready to build," said Mirek Maez, owner of Cooper Building Group, a local company in Louisville. 

The burned-out lots that cover parts of Boulder County are slowly being cleared. Now the construction companies are lining up and moving in.

The building companies have never been busier. 

"Just crazy beyond words," said Maez. "How we’re going to get it done quickly, how we’re going to work with everybody else, the logistics. Just everything about it has been a crazy storm."

With the first building permits now issued for homes destroyed by the Marshall Fire, builders are ready to work.

Among the challenges they face are high costs for building materials and long waits for appliances. 

"The biggest challenge right now? Appliances," said Maez. "They’re a year or more out."

Some people have to choose their dishwasher before they even design their home, so they can get it delivered a year from now when it’s time to move in.

"They’re like dumbfounded," said Maez. "You’re starting to think about your kitchen and at the same time you’re trying to think about where you’re going to put the stairs."

Heidi Newlin is an interior architect. With the design process just beginning for many clients, her schedule is filled up.

"Now people are getting a little bit more hopeful, there’s lots of cleanup," said Newlin. "That’s where I think the hope and excitement are coming in for people, that’s what’s really exciting. They’re starting to get excited about ‘Well, I always wanted it like this,’ or ‘I really want this, this is important to me.'"

The neighborhoods where these builders are working don’t have any power. Having generators running at each house under construction will be extremely loud. Maez said he’s bringing in large generators he’s hoping all the contractors can team up to use. 

As they rush to build speeds up, everything can feel like a big decision. 

"Last month we had a 30% price increase come in for roofing," said Maez. "I’m trying to save people money by ordering them a roof and we haven’t even got your house designed. It’s like now you have to pick the color of your roof."

SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Marshall Fire Coverage 


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