The raw material shortages across the country are deeply affecting the construction and home improvement industry. If you tried to complete a project in 2020, you likely experienced empty shelves, but now if you can find materials, you’re experiencing higher prices. Raw material shortages strain both the construction and the home improvement industry, but in what ways are the industries still experiencing shortages?
What Do the Numbers Say?
According to recent data, 71% of contractors are facing raw materials shortages in at least one material. Among these materials, lumber is cited as the most frequent material shortage, with 31% of surveyed contractors citing lumber shortages. Many other materials, like steel and copper, are also seeing prices rise due to the shortened supply. The greatest percentage of the shortages are in materials that are primarily structural, which poses particular challenges for the markets. There is no need for other materials if the bones of the project can’t be put in place.
Supply Chain Constraints
The supply chain constraints the market is experiencing are due to a variety of factors. First, factories have been slowed down due to COVID, which backed up production. At the same time, the increase in both construction projects as well as home improvement projects increased, which is where we see the constraints begin. When production rose to meet the needs of the increasing demand, the truck driver shortage then made it incredibly difficult to get the raw materials where they needed to be.
This situation is further complicated by the overseas shipping of many raw materials. Because materials now aren’t moving quick enough, raw materials are having to be stored for longer, which is expensive. Many warehouses are also either out of or quickly running out of space. The whole system has been severely bottlenecked, and it will take a while to fully clear up. In the meantime, what are the effects we are dealing with as a result?
How Raw Materials Shortages Are Affecting Construction
The primary way the raw materials shortages are affecting construction is through major delays in projects. In the best cases, the projects are waiting to begin, but there are many outstanding projects that are awaiting completion and still short on the needed material.
Some construction workers are noting how flexible they need to be in order to continue working. Projects usually have a beginning and ending dates in a contract, but the raw materials shortages have caused the construction company to be in closer communication with the community owner than ever before. If the structural components of a project are being delayed, that means other jobs also have to be pushed back, which can quickly throw off the original projected end date. Construction workers have to find something else to do when the materials of another task aren’t available, but that can only be done up to a point.
Prices are also high at the moment. The increase in demand and reduction of supply has caused the price of raw materials to increase, and it isn’t clear when things will return to normal. For most projects, this only means the price to complete the project is more than it normally would be. For others, the price of outstanding projects has increased, leading to a much higher bill than previously expected. Those who are impacted the most in this area have had to pause their project entirely due to the costs exceeding the budget.
How Raw Materials Shortages Are Affecting Home Improvement
Though construction is seeing the brunt of the shortages, there are also serious implications for the home improvement industry, which is affecting many homeowners. Since the start of COVID-19, homeowners have been increasingly renovating their homes. There is a high desire to start those projects that have been put off for too long or to improve their space in ways that make it more conducive to the time being spent in it as more people are working from home.
For quite some time, shortages have meant empty shelves, which means delayed or postponed projects. For many homeowners, there may not be any time left to do the project themselves with the supply finally catching up to the increased demand, but it’s becoming more important than ever to carefully plan a home improvement project. You need to make sure you have all of the materials from the beginning. The shelves may be full when you begin, but taking stock before starting can ensure you don’t return to the store for more raw materials only to find the shelves empty and your project incomplete.
The shortages may also be hitting self-builders or DIYers harder than commercial construction. Construction companies have the easiest access to raw materials, and major projects will likely be prioritized as new supply comes in. In addition, many of these companies have the funds to handle the increased prices up to a point. For many DIYers, inflated prices will deter their eagerness to start a new project because of the complications associated with navigating a market with a short supply.
Need Home Improvement Across the Gulf South?
Acadian Windows has been tirelessly working to take care of Louisiana homeowners. Because of our thorough process, we ensure all of our materials are on hand before beginning any project. We source all our materials for every project before beginning, which means you can be sure your project will be started and finished in a timely fashion. You will not have to worry about delays or hiccups, even with raw materials shortages, and you will not be surprised at the end when you receive the bill. Our process includes an extensive pre-walk-through that allows our expert price analysts to accurately estimate what the project will cost.
Leave the headache out of home improvement and go with Acadian. Whether you’re repainting exterior vinyl siding, replacing your siding altogether, or looking to replace your windows, Acadian has you covered.
Contact Acadian Windows today to hear about how we can assist you in your home improvement needs through this time of scarce resources.