Both this year and last have brought about change and disruption to most of our lives and this is certainly the case when it comes to construction. For some time now, our entire industry has faced issues and delays, throwing off what our customers have come to expect from our work. We thought it was a good time to address some of these problems and share as much information as we can. As usual, we continue to work with the changing landscape around shortages and disruptions to help meet clients’ goals whenever possible. That being said, let’s take a closer look at what’s happening.
Starting With Labor
While things have become increasingly worse during the pandemic, there was already a labor shortage occurring before COVID-19. For many years, it’s been difficult to find skilled labor for craft positions, placing strain on construction businesses. The difficulty lies in the competition amongst industries for young workers. While there is a sizeable amount of capable craftspeople already working in construction, many are nearing retirement and choosing to work less than in years past. And while jobs in construction offer competitive wages, they still have to contend with career opportunities in healthcare and other industries, and the going is tough. Unfortunately, during the pandemic, the construction industry lost a huge percentage of their existing employees, who chose to pursue other career paths instead of facing the risks associated with working job sites during the age of coronavirus.
What That Means
As it becomes more and more difficult to find skilled labor, contractors are asking their existing employees to take on additional jobs and hours. While construction crews are working as hard as they can, this often delays schedules and pushes deadlines back. As a result, many construction companies have to put in higher bids to cover the cost of offering higher wages to retain employees. In fact, many contractors across the U.S. find themselves having to turn down work because they don’t have enough help to meet the demand.
Supply Chain Disruptions
As if that wasn’t difficult enough, contractors are also facing supply chain disruptions and price increases. The skyrocketing price of lumber has been a household discussion during the pandemic, but this is not the only commodity that has seen impressive escalation. Things from marble to steel have seen shortages and price increases in the last year and a half, requiring contractors to shift creatively to try to handle these issues.
All of these factors have led to an unpredictable era for construction. While contractors work hard to keep their employees and source materials for their projects, it’s incredibly difficult to anticipate how to keep their work on schedule. At Brock Builders, we continue to work creatively to problem solve each issue that comes up during our Asheville custom home build projects. We are continuously grateful for the understanding of our client community as we navigate tricky shortages and unexpected delays with materials. As always, we’re here to communicate with you about progress on your custom home build and we remain flexible to each roadblock that arises so we can find a solution that meets everyone’s needs!