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Couple started building $3M dream home in 2019 that has now cost them double and remains unfinished

A Texas couple who started designing their $3 million dream home in 2018 have now spent more than double that on the property, which still remains unfinished.

Instagram model Carrie LaChance and her husband, Nate, starting building their Dallas-area ‘castle’ in 2020 but thanks to the pandemic it is still under construction.

The couple’s project has been hard hit by the COVID economy, labor shortages, inflation, housing price run-ups, manufacturing issues and the strained supply chain.

Their home builder claims the pandemic started a ‘chain reaction’ that saw skyrocketing prices in all areas of the housing industry.

Although the LaChances exceeded their budget by hundreds of thousands of dollars and have no firm timetable for the home’s completion, construction presses on.

Carrie and Nate LaChance (pictured) started building their $3 million Texas dream home in 2019 and have now spent more than double that on the property, which is still unfinished

Carrie and Nate LaChance (pictured) started building their $3 million Texas dream home in 2019 and have now spent more than double that on the property, which is still unfinished

Carrie and Nate purchased an untouched lakefront lot near Dallas for $260,000 in 2018, sight unseen.

They intended to build their dream home – which they called their ‘castle’ – on the plot of land. The property would feature a gym, movie theater, pool and luxurious interior elements, including a 24-karat gold sink.

However, despite crews having broken ground in 2020, the property is nowhere near completion. Photographs show the castle is still missing windows, doors and much of its interior structure.

The couple’s builder, Joshua Correa, told The Washington Post the project met several delays as suppliers raised their costs and products arrived late due to supply chain issues.

Correa claims the cost of lumber nearly doubled since the start of the pandemic and fuel costs rose 10 times after Russia invaded Ukraine.

‘It was like a chain reaction,’ Joshua Correa said. ‘Everybody started charging more – for everything.’ 

Similarly, appliance vendors were battling chip shortages and production issues, making it harder to obtain household essentials such as refrigerators and washing machines. 

The couple's house - which they call their 'castle' - has been hard hit by the COVID-19 economy, labor shortages, inflation, housing price run-ups, manufacturing issues and the strained supply chain. The home is pictured above, as seen on May 3, 2022

The couple's house - which they call their 'castle' - has been hard hit by the COVID-19 economy, labor shortages, inflation, housing price run-ups, manufacturing issues and the strained supply chain. The home is pictured above, as seen on May 3, 2022

The couple’s house – which they call their ‘castle’ – has been hard hit by the COVID-19 economy, labor shortages, inflation, housing price run-ups, manufacturing issues and the strained supply chain. The home is pictured above, as seen on May 3, 2022

Despite the slew of pandemic-fueled complications, the LaChances are still moving forward with their construction plans. Carrie (pictured) has documented their house building journey on her Instagram account

Despite the slew of pandemic-fueled complications, the LaChances are still moving forward with their construction plans. Carrie (pictured) has documented their house building journey on her Instagram account

Despite the slew of pandemic-fueled complications, the LaChances are still moving forward with their construction plans. Carrie (pictured) has documented their house building journey on her Instagram account

The couple's builder, Joshua Correa (pictured May 3), said the castle project met several delays as suppliers raised their costs and products arrived late due to supply chain issues

The couple's builder, Joshua Correa (pictured May 3), said the castle project met several delays as suppliers raised their costs and products arrived late due to supply chain issues

The couple’s builder, Joshua Correa (pictured May 3), said the castle project met several delays as suppliers raised their costs and products arrived late due to supply chain issues

Although the LaChances ordered their state-of-the-art refrigerator in September 2021, the supplier said it won’t arrive until next March.

Correa, who is responsible for coordinating all of the LaChances’ contractors, has also battled with maintaining a workforce to complete the task.

He said that building a basic home used to take five months, but given the current climate it will take a crew at least ten months to complete.

Even though he scours for workers weeks in advance, the ongoing worker shortage is delaying production.

He explained how if he hires both a framing crew and a lumber crew, but only one of the contractors arrives, he risks losing the other vendor entirely.

‘Due to the lack of manpower, once you add up my time lost, my carrying costs, overhead costs, all my delays, I’m at about $150,000 extra per house,’ Correa said.  

Ultimately, the bills for delays or redrawn contracts fall on the LaChances.

The couple took out an additional $100,000 in autumn 2021 in an attempt to cover unexpected expenses, but said those funds were gone by the end of the year.

Most of the additional expenses did stem from unexpected delays and rising contract costs, but Carrie notes the pair did alter their plans along the way, such as shifting their color scheme from white and silver to gold.

‘The longer you think of stuff you think, “maybe I want this inside,”’ Carrie said of the changes. 

Carrie has documented their housing journey on her Instagram account, which predominately showcase her modeling. She also uses the account to promote the business she shares with Nate, which involves the manufacturing and selling of hosiery, lingerie and high heels

Carrie has documented their housing journey on her Instagram account, which predominately showcase her modeling. She also uses the account to promote the business she shares with Nate, which involves the manufacturing and selling of hosiery, lingerie and high heels

Carrie has documented their housing journey on her Instagram account, which predominately showcase her modeling. She also uses the account to promote the business she shares with Nate, which involves the manufacturing and selling of hosiery, lingerie and high heels

The LaChances took out an additional $100,000 in autumn 2021 in an attempt to cover unexpected expenses, but said those funds were gone by the end of the year

The LaChances took out an additional $100,000 in autumn 2021 in an attempt to cover unexpected expenses, but said those funds were gone by the end of the year

The LaChances took out an additional $100,000 in autumn 2021 in an attempt to cover unexpected expenses, but said those funds were gone by the end of the year

In addition to risings costs, the couple is battling with the inability to actually get their hands on necessary supplies.

Garret Cockrell, whose company Big D Lumber supplied the wood used for the castle’s framing, said during the pandemic he field 100 calls per day from builders trying to get access to wooden panels or sheathing products.

Lumber, which saw some of the worst supply chain snarls during the pandemic, was hard to come by. Cockrell explained how he was forced to turn new clients away because he could barely meet the demand for his existing clientele. 

The supply chain strain also caused his costs to double, especially when accounting for fuel costs, labor and yard equipment. 

‘Fuel pricing is killing us,’ Cockrell explained. ‘I used to spend $20,000 a month for our fleet on fuel. It’s now costing me $200,000 for our deliveries and daily operations. It’s our cost of doing business. We just make less money.’

Unfortunately, these costs – like all areas of production – ultimately fall on consumers like the LaChances who started with a lumber budget of $105,000 but as of June had already spent $177,000.

Garret Cockrell, whose company Big D Lumber supplied the wood used for the castle's framing, said his costs have doubled amid the pandemic. He is pictured with an employee at his lumber warehouse in Richardson, Texas on May 4, 2022

Garret Cockrell, whose company Big D Lumber supplied the wood used for the castle's framing, said his costs have doubled amid the pandemic. He is pictured with an employee at his lumber warehouse in Richardson, Texas on May 4, 2022

Garret Cockrell, whose company Big D Lumber supplied the wood used for the castle’s framing, said his costs have doubled amid the pandemic. He is pictured with an employee at his lumber warehouse in Richardson, Texas on May 4, 2022

The couple initially budgeted $27,500 for the Silver Mist stone that twinkles in the sunlight. They had spent $39,000 on the product, as of June. A worker is picture harvesting the stone in Cameron, Oklahoma on May 13

The couple initially budgeted $27,500 for the Silver Mist stone that twinkles in the sunlight. They had spent $39,000 on the product, as of June. A worker is picture harvesting the stone in Cameron, Oklahoma on May 13

The couple initially budgeted $27,500 for the Silver Mist stone that twinkles in the sunlight. They had spent $39,000 on the product, as of June. A worker is picture harvesting the stone in Cameron, Oklahoma on May 13

The LaChances also had to increase their budget for the slabs of sandstone that will cover the exterior of the home.

The couple initially budgeted $27,500 for the Silver Mist stone that twinkles in the sunlight. They had spent $39,000 on the product, as of June.

Donna Webb, co-owner of the company doing the couple’s stonework, said that even though they have slabs of the product ready to go, she doesn’t have the necessary staff to complete projects. 

She raised wages by 20 percent to try to compete with the rest of the construction industry, but says that still isn’t enough to maintain staffing levels. 

‘If you want ’em, you got to pay ’em,’ Webb explained. ‘We’re not different than any other industry out there.’

She fears the economy, which is heading towards what analysts say is an inevitable recession, will have unknown housing consequences for the housing market and subsequently her business. 

The LaChances also had to increase their budget for the slabs of sandstone that will cover the exterior of the home. The couple initially budgeted $27,500 for the Silver Mist stone that twinkles in the sunlight, but had spent $39,000 on the product, as of June

The LaChances also had to increase their budget for the slabs of sandstone that will cover the exterior of the home. The couple initially budgeted $27,500 for the Silver Mist stone that twinkles in the sunlight, but had spent $39,000 on the product, as of June

The LaChances also had to increase their budget for the slabs of sandstone that will cover the exterior of the home. The couple initially budgeted $27,500 for the Silver Mist stone that twinkles in the sunlight, but had spent $39,000 on the product, as of June

Donna Webb, co-owner of the company doing the couple's stonework, said that even though they have slabs of the stone they want ready to go, she doesn't have the necessary staff to complete projects. Excavators and other equipment at Valley Stone Quarry in Cameron, OK

Donna Webb, co-owner of the company doing the couple's stonework, said that even though they have slabs of the stone they want ready to go, she doesn't have the necessary staff to complete projects. Excavators and other equipment at Valley Stone Quarry in Cameron, OK

Donna Webb, co-owner of the company doing the couple’s stonework, said that even though they have slabs of the stone they want ready to go, she doesn’t have the necessary staff to complete projects. Excavators and other equipment at Valley Stone Quarry in Cameron, OK

‘At a 6 percent mortgage rate, you darn skippy, there’s gonna be a whole lot of people who can’t pay for their houses,’ Webb said. ‘I think it’s gonna be a little bit scary by the end of the year. I think a slowdown is coming. I hesitate to call it a recession, but everybody else is calling it one.’

Despite the slew of pandemic-fueled complications, Carrie and Nate are still moving forward with their construction plans.

It is unclear when the project will be completed, but the couple has already made a special plan to celebrate their first night in the home.

They intend to break out their popcorn maker, cozy up in the movie theater and binge watch Game of Thrones.

Carrie has documented their housing journey on her Instagram account, which appears to predominately showcase her modeling skills.

She also uses the account to promote the business she shares with Nate, which involves the manufacturing and selling of hosiery, lingerie and high heels. 

Dream home lovers can follow Carrie’s account for the latest castle updates. 

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