NIXA, Mo. — An ever-changing market combined with staffing and lumber shortages is creating challenges for home builders.

Maria Cass, a long-time designer for the hotel industry turned first-time home builder, was furloughed from her job in March 2020 but soon broke ground on a new business thanks to the help from local artisans.

“The markets increased, the weather’s been crazy, so with the snowstorm and then the rain this spring, we’ve got delayed because, remember, originally I was saying May,” said Cass, the owner of Intrinsic Homes.

The framework is up on Cass’ first Scandinavian modern home in Nixa.

“There’s not a lot of laborers currently, so there have been some delays across the board,” said Cass. “It’s really been everything, but that’s why I’m doing this.”

Ordering lumber in advance has helped Intrinsic Homes, but prices are adjusting weekly, making it tough to put a number on Cass’ build.

“When people do reach out to me about the possibility of purchasing this home, at this point in time, I can’t give a number, whereas I would have in the past,” said Cass.

The first-time builder is challenging local artists to create new pieces and products, like a one-of-a-kind wallpaper.

“This feature wall is very similar to me doing a very hand-painted mural, but this way, it’s put onto the vinyl, and it’s a very quick application,” said Lucinda Northcutt, a local painter.

Cass also called on the owners of Art Zone in Nixa after her son took an interest in pottery.

“Well, she gave us this crazy idea of on our pottery wheel to make sconces that will look similar to that,” said Laura Bush, owner of the Art Zone.

One of the key aspects for home buyers since the pandemic, according to Cass, is having a dedicated space for a home office or workout studio.