Home Improvement Price Gouging

In the aftermath of three major hurricanes we're hearing about price gouging on home improvement materials here and in Florida and Puerto Rico. But sometimes there's a fine line between gouging and prices rising because of simple supply and demand.

KTRH home improvement guru Jim Dutton says most Texans are behaving themselves.

"If people are in a rush to get materials, yeah, they're gonna pay a premium; but so far I haven't seen any real hyped prices."

Dutton says one area where prices are up is hiring contractors.

"Laborers are shopping for dollars and everybody's having to increase what they're paying the laborers right now, so I think we're going to see some pretty hefty price increases on work."

But when it comes to home improvement materials, it might not be price gouging; it might just be simple supply and demand.

"Dry wall, lumber, concrete -- all that stuff is natural materials that have to be mined or cut and things like that, so when there's this big an amount of disasters, I mean, we have three major disasters."

Dutton says if something is 25% or more higher than usual, that might be gouging. Dutton says he hasn't seen gouging in Texas, but call the state attorney general's office if you do.

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