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Current State of Building on Nantucket


Current Real Estate Topics

Sarah Holmes
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Over the past few years, Nantucket has seen a great deal of development and new construction. Record low interest rates combined with surging demand from buyers looking for more living space (or buildable land) caused our real estate market to fire on all cylinders.

2022 proved to be another busy year for local builders and contractors. Given record new construction demand, the current cost per square foot to stick build (the traditional method of building where you frame the structure on site) now ranges from $700 – $1,000 and higher end, estate properties begin at $1,000 per square foot. Most modular homes average around $500 – $600 per square foot. This type of construction continues to grow on Nantucket because it is typically more cost-effective. The modular boxes are constructed off-island and delivered via barges. This type of construction offers an expedited process and is typically faster than stick building.

construction on nantucket

In addition to labor rate increases, supply chain disruptions impacted construction prices in recent years. Plywood, shingles, and appliances were just some of the materials that were impossible to find. While we have learned that the supply chain issues are slowly starting to correct, local builders are still experiencing problems with lumber and shingles. We spoke with local roofing expert Chris Lydon, who shared that “Asphalt shingle prices have remained relatively steady, but with production issues, we run into occasional delays with specific colors.” All cedar products have seen a huge increase. Chris says, “From 2021 to now, red cedar prices increased by about 100%. Things seem to be leveling off, but supply is still tough. Red cedar shingles which used to take a few weeks to get, or were in stock, can sometimes take 3+ months to receive. White cedar shingles (used for exterior sidewall) are even more difficult to get. Our company has standing orders from suppliers, but we are only able to get a pallet or so a month.”

construction on nantucket
Photo Credit: Chris Lydon, James Lydon Roofing & Siding

Despite these delays, Nantucket builders and contractors say 2023 will be another busy year for new construction and renovations. Now more than ever it is important to work with local experts who know our island’s idiosyncrasies. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about building your dream home or if you’d like to be connected with local building professionals.

Written By

Sarah Holmes

Sarah grew up in New Hampshire and Vermont and summered on Nantucket with family. Upon graduating from the University of New Hampshire,