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Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022

Today’s remodeling challenges


| CTW Features |

Supply chain issues and labor shortages are still at large in our current economic climate. The demand to purchase real estate continues to rise, but contractors and builders alike are having sincere challenges in accessing materials, machinery and quality workers to perform the labor necessary to sustain the market.

Many industry workers are seeing a 30% increase in the price of lumber alone, which has consumers considering if it’s worth the expense. According to an article written by Forbes, wood is a product that fluctuates based on demand.

The three highest usages of wood are for new housing, home repairs and remodeling. During the pandemic beginning in 2020, the real estate market boomed as homes were flying off the market before being listed, making the demand much higher for these materials. When workers were forced to stay home because of public safety, it threw many factors off balance, including shipping, manufacturing and overall production.

Michael Wolkow, a real estate broker at The Blanq Mor Group brokered by eXp Realty based out of Cornelius, N.C., advised, “As a consumer that’s either having a home built, or renovations done to your existing home, the best thing you can do is to be flexible with your timeline and your materials choices.

The contractors and builders are having terrible difficulties getting materials in, as well as labor shortages. Contractors are just as frustrated with the build time process as consumers are, so we must give each other grace and flexibility.

For example, the colors or finishes you want for your countertops might not be available. Or what normally would’ve taken a few weeks to complete might now take five times that. The items that we are seeing the most shortage of currently are kitchen appliances, specifically dishwashers and refrigerators.

A lot of new builds I’m working with now aren’t even offering dishwasher or laundry and dryer installation. The builders are now relying on the consumer to purchase those items independently, due to the expended timeline of receiving the materials.”

In a survey conducted by Trimble Viewpoint, 100 contractors throughout the United States were asked of their concerns for the remainder of 2022. Thirty-five percent said they are concerned about any further COVID-19-related requirements or mandates, 31% were concerned about labor shortages, and 26% vocalized being worried about supply chain issues and material pricing.

Demond Carter, owner of Kovine Construction in Gastonia, N.C., gave us exclusive insight into what his company is experiencing currently. “As far as materials and back orders, logistical pipelines and things of that nature, windows for new construction seem to be very difficult to get our hands on right now.

“In relation to product delivery, some window manufacturers are quoting 16-20 weeks, but on average, it’s about 40 weeks out to receive new windows. Fortunately, I’ve been able to maneuver around and find a few here or there. The new methodology is finding replacement windows that can be retrofitted for the new construction but the downside to that is, it takes more work.”

In relation to lumber expenses, he’s noticing a slight uptick, but it has come down significantly since 2020. “Right now, the average price for a 2 X 4 piece of wood is anywhere between six to eight dollars. It can be a challenge, but we are finding ways to repurpose lumber that hasn’t been damaged significantly so it can be utilized for framing.

Overall, we are staying busy, and unfortunately the price increase is being passed along to our customers. This is creating a rise in an inflated market, but we are prepared for any lean times ahead and appreciate the business that is sustaining us.”


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