Building activity back on track

Local building construction and renovation has ramped up this year compared to last year.

Local building construction and renovation has ramped up this year compared to last year.

By the end of April this year, there has been $3.2 million worth of permit activity within city boundaries, compared to the $779,675 year-to-date permit value at the end of April 2010.

“They’re pretty good, but they’re not as good as they were a few years ago,” said the city’s senior building inspector Bruce Miller of the numbers, saying that 2007 and 2008 were statistically better years. The year to date value at the end of April 2008 was $6.6 million.

Six new houses started up at the end of April in 2008, with a total of 11 residences started by that time already that year. Pemit values for the month of April 2008 alone came out to $2.4 million.

In comparison, the permit value of April 2010 trickled in at $407,225.

“We didn’t have much building last year,” Miller said.

But activity is looking better this year compared to last. The permit values for April 2011 made up a big chunk of this year’s overall value, coming in at $1.8 million.

A lot of this April’s activity, $844,000 worth, came in the form of residential work, be it renovations or multi-residential.

“Anytime you see the number of houses going up, you’ll also see the number of renovations going up for the houses,” Miller said.

“It’s reflecting a general cash flow; if people are willing to put up more money on new houses, they’re willing to put up more money on renovations as well.”

The other big chunk of money came from two commercial renovations worth $900,000: one is a free range chicken coop for Daybreak farms worth $100,000 and the other is work being done on the new Your Décor location.

The city’s March 2011’s building stats nearly topped $1 million.

In March this year, there were 22 permits worth $991,800 compared to March 2010 with 17 permits valued at $112,950.

The bulk of 2011’s March permit value came in the form of three single residential houses worth $618,000, compared to no new houses in March 2010.

More people are working on their houses too, with five residential miscellaneous worth $46,800 this March compared to one for $2,000 in March of last year.

“The numbers move with the weather, they move with what’s going on,” Miller said, noting upcoming projects like the Northwest Transmission Line and work at Alcan.

“We’re going to see more building going on as that happens, because it encourages people to think positively.”

He also said there’s a good number of houses planned for the next coming months, which is encouraging.

“We’re definitely going to have way more than we had last year,” he said, saying that a good building year will see around 25 houses constructed.

So far at there were four single residential permits by the end of April, along with one multi-residential, four renovations, and 18 residential miscellaneous. There were only five single residential and five mutli-residential structures listed in the city’s stats for 2010.

“Last year wasn’t so bad, I wouldn’t paint it as a dismal year,” Miller said.

“But if we could get up to something around 20 houses a year, that would be a good progression,” he continued.

“If we can keep on that kind of track, that would be good for contractors that are in town.”