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How Covid Changed The Construction Industry (and still is)

Custom grey board and batten vertical fiber cement siding with grey shakes, white trim, metal accent porch roof, and Driftwood shingles

Custom grey board and batten vertical fiber cement siding with grey shakes, white trim, metal accent porch roof, and Driftwood shingles

Ever since covid-19 made it’s roaring appearance; industries worldwide have found themselves in whirlwind of changes, problems, and shortages. Let’s narrow the focus to just construction so you can get an idea on what you might be facing if you decide to remodel or build a new home. The shutdown ripple effect, material shortages, man-power shortages, price increases, and wage increases are all at constant play in the current market. Let’s start at the beginning:

The Shutdown:

When everything was shutdown in March 2020, many manufactures laid off employees and shut down plants completely. Depending on the state the manufacturer was in; they were required to completely shut down. Others shut down because they thought new builds and remodels would come to a big halt. They were guessing that many homeowners would not want to take on any construction projects during an unpredictable financial period. instead, homeowners found themselves working from home and wanting to improve their new “offices”. Manufacturers quickly realized their mistake in predicting the future; however it was harder to backpedal than expected. Depending on the state and it’s covid mandate, some roofing, siding, and aluminum companies decided it would be better in the long run to move some manufacturing plants out of the state and into a state with looser covid restrictions. That means they would have to retrofit an existing building, move staff, and train new staff to get a plant running again. They were still likely working with some covid restrictions and not able to produce at full capacity. This produced some serious backlog on orders.

Mastic white siding, white trim, black windows, CertainTeed Pewter grey roof, Black garage doors with not windows

Material Shortages:

After hurdling all that the shutdown threw at them; manufacturing plants now found themselves facing a raw material shortage. All materials from shingles to vinyl siding to aluminum gutters to the steel in garage doors are facing a higher production cost and reduced manufacturing (partially due to reduced labor forces). If plants can’t get the materials they need to produce; products get backordered and prices get raised.

Enviro Dri water barrier

Price Increases:

Record price increases have occurred within the year. Before covid, prices would only increase once or twice a year to keep up with inflation. There would be at least a 30 day notice provided. Now it’s not surprise if there is just a 4 hour notice. This has never happened before. Prices are never stable. The manufacturers are dealing with such a volatile market in materials and strains on labor they have to keep the price changing frequently to stay profitable.

What does this mean for you?

Let’s reduce all of this to what it means for the homeowner of 2022. If you know you want to replace the siding on your home – jump on it. Unless you are ok with paying more in a couple months, don’t wait! Get your roofing selections to your contractor to lock in your price even if you aren’t ready to do the work for months. If you are building a new home, the sooner you place your selections the sooner you will have your prices locked in. We have found many homeowner building new homes, take their time in making selections. Normally we don’t like to rush homeowners into decisions but after a month the price will likely increase 5-15%. Once the order has been placed, it may take months to get in. Most contractors don’t mind you checking in for updates. It’s always nice to stay in communication during these unprecedented times.

Before: Cedar siding looked run down. After: English Wedgewood vinyl siding brightens up this home
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