As tariff fears rise, so do skilled nursing facility construction costs

A tight labor market has continued to drive up construction costs for skilled nursing facilities — and that’s before accounting for the potential effects of disruptive new tariffs from the Trump administration, according to Skilled Nursing News.

The cost to build a “high-level” SNF rose from $317 per square foot last winter to $326 this summer, according to the most recent update from architecture and engineering firm The Weitz Company. Those numbers represent the most aggressive estimations from the Des Moines, Iowa-based firm: On the lower end for high-level construction — which Weitz defines as properties made from steel or concrete with luxury finishes — skilled nursing costs rose from $247 per square foot to $255.

For so-called “mid-level” projects, which involve wood-framed construction and “standard” finishes geared toward middle-income residents, the range rose from $197 to $231 per square foot last winter to $202 to $236 this summer.

“The labor shortage continues to be an issue in most markets, with an aging workforce and fewer young people joining the trades,” Weitz noted in its analysis. “This trend is not likely to subside anytime soon.”

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