Couples Paint Houses Like Ukrainian Flag
In an effort to express support and solidarity for Ukraine while the country continues to be invaded by Russian forces, a Cambridgeshire couple has painted their home to reflect the Ukrainian flag.
“We've got friends in Ukraine, they're really lovely people, very brave people, and it's a very small thing we've done,” Michael Platings told The Independent. “We just wanted to express our support for them and let them know we're not forgetting about them, and they've expressed their appreciation.”
Platings’ wife and local Ukraine charity founder, Rend, also told reporters how her connections with the country went deeper than friendships, explaining that she’d received fertility treatment in Kyiv after struggling to access IVF services in the United Kingdom.
Couple paint house the colours of the Ukraine flag to show support during the war https://t.co/QP1d2KQ79h— The Independent (@Independent) March 3, 2022
The couple’s strong connection to the country prompted them to repaint the front of their home. With the help of a neighbor, Platings applied two five-liter pots (just over 2.5 gallons) of blue and yellow paint to the exterior of the 400,000 pound (about $527,000) semi-detached home. According to reports, the paint cost 76 pounds.
“Most people get it, they get why the house is suddenly blue and yellow, but some people, particularly older people, say 'that's nice and bright!’,” said Rend. “We've had people beep their horns and lots of people stop and take pictures—we've had really warm responses.”
“You can't necessarily paint your house blue and yellow, it's not practical, but just having a Ukrainian flag on your window and showing some support that way can make a big difference,” she continued. “It shows a degree of public concern and support, how it's not just Ukrainians but the whole nation wants to help Ukraine as much as we can.”
In Wales, another couple was reported to have painted with a huge Ukrainian flag on the side of their home as a show of solidarity with the country under invasion.
“My wife and I feel very strongly about what is going on in Ukraine, and what is happening to the people there. When you see the images it is heartbreaking,” said homeowner Tony Davies. “But it feels like there is little we can physically do or volunteer for at the moment to help. So we just thought we'd put up the Ukrainian flag on the side of the house in a prominent position, and hopefully it will give people passing just half a minute's thought about what is going on there.”
According to Wales Online, the painted flag can be viewed from Afan Road, Duffryn Rhondda, between Afan Argoed Country Park and the Afan Lodge. In the future, the homeowners plan to paint a Welsh dragon, a daffodil and sunflower—noted to be flowers that represent the two countries.
Effects of War on the Industry
The incursion of Ukraine began on Feb. 24. According to reports, the invasion continues to not only negatively affect the country, but also threatens global recovery from COVID-19 induced inflation and supply chain issues.
In a Data Digest released at the end of February, Associated General Contractors of America’s Chief Economist Ken Simonson wrote, “The war in Ukraine and the West’s response are likely to have multiple effects on construction materials costs and availability.” While the immediate impact will be on fuel and gasoline, Simonson predicts that prices of copper and aluminum will also increase as a response to halted and delayed cargo ships.
Late last month, the Producer Price Index report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that prices of construction materials jumped more than 20% year-over-year and risen nearly 30% since January 2020.
At the time of its recent analysis, the association also posted a new edition of its Construction Inflation Alert. The report serves to inform project owners, officials and others about the challenges volatile materials costs, supply chain disruptions and labor shortages posed for construction firms.
“Spiking materials prices are making it challenging for most firms to profit from any increases in demand for new construction projects,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC Chief Executive Officer. “Left unabated, these price increases will undermine the economic case for many development projects and limit the positive impacts of the new infrastructure bill.”
Materials leading the price hikes are softwood lumber and architectural coatings, having risen 25.4% and 9% (both seasonally adjusted) since January 2021, respectively. However, as the war between Russia and Ukraine continues, reports indicate that the availability and costs of construction materials are likely to be affected.
In comparing the numbers year-over-year, the PPI revealed:
“Russia is an important producer of copper and aluminum,” the Wall Street Journal reported. “Any difficulties getting those commodities to customers worldwide would cause fresh disruptions to strained supply chains.” With those materials already having reported year-over-year price hikes of nearly 33% and 25%, respectively, the prices could balloon even higher.
In the Ukraine, at least for now, construction material and equipment manufacturers seemed to be split with regards to remaining open or closing up shop.