Learn How to Avoid Price Hikes, Slowdowns, and Materials Shortages due to COVID-19
At this point, COVID-19 has changed just about every aspect of our lives and negatively affected almost every industry. The residential remodeling industry is no exception. At the beginning of the pandemic, projects were halted, manufacturing plants were closed down, and new safety precautions were put in place. While we are now familiar with the procedures and safeguards that keep employees and customers safe, the entire industry is seeing a new challenge in materials shortages that will only worsen through the winter.
Unfortunately, those materials shortages are impacting just about every kind of project, particularly for companies that didn’t plan to have extra materials on hand. Whether you are considering a renovation to make your space more comfortable or need a vital project done like a roof replacement, this fall is the time to do it. Otherwise, your home project could face slowdowns, price hikes, or worse, your project won’t be able to be completed because materials just aren’t available.
Why Are Shortages Happening in Maryland?
- Shutdowns in Plants
At the beginning of the pandemic, manufacturing plants simply closed down, halting any new materials coming from suppliers to contractors. Since then, many plants have resumed production at limited capacities, only to shut down again due to coronavirus outbreaks. We all know how hard it can be to get basic cleaning supplies and paper goods sometimes. That same issue applies to everything from metal products, to plywood, to vinyl and asphalt products. There is an enormous backlog of demand nationwide, and some materials are taking many months to deliver. Growing cases through the winter mean the already limited supply of materials may be limited even further.
- Price Hikes
As most everyone knows from basic economics, prices go up when demand is high, and supply is low. This is doubly true because factories are taking higher manufacturing costs to keep production moving under coronavirus restrictions. Pricing on many common home improvement products, such as lumber, has increased substantially in the last few months, and we expect them to skyrocket over the winter. As of this writing, the trade pricing for a 2x4 has more than doubled in the last few months. Thus, projects started today may be substantially less expensive than a [project started even a couple of months from now.
- Supply Chain Disruptions
While shutdowns have severely limited production, issues have also arisen in shipping and from weather-related problems. For example, much of the asphalt for shingles on the east coast comes out of Louisiana, and while production has resumed, hurricane season compounded the delays. Long-haul trucking has also been disrupted, as some driving teams are now no longer able to drive in the same truck due to coronavirus limitations.
- International Supplies
Just as we saw shutdowns in asphalt shingle plants in the United States, countries like Italy, China, and India shut down most production operations, creating a steep decline in steel and cement supplies such as roofing nails. For us in the US, that means that contractors had to work off of our own inventory of these materials, some with internal warehouses like Brothers being in a better position than others. However, those reserves will eventually run out, and it is unclear whether new materials will be available and at what price.
- Diverting Materials
While some materials are catching up as plants resume normal production, already low inventories are being diverted by the suppliers to areas of the country that need them most. For example, the west and gulf coast states that have been experiencing natural disasters will receive supplies before we will in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Brothers Commitment to You
At Brothers, we keep our warehouse stocked with the necessary building supplies, so our master craftsmen are ready to start your project. At the beginning of the pandemic, when we realized there would be shortages in common items like roofing nails, we put in bulk orders before the price hikes. We’re ready to start many types of projects, often months before the other guys. Plus, we are able to keep projects affordable by still offering our transparent pricing and seasonal specials.
There is a reason why over 10,000 homeowners have invited us into their homes in the past year alone. We believe in earning your trust on every project, providing honest pricing, proactive customer service, and high-quality materials. And that’s not going to change now. So, if you need something done around your home, schedule a consultation with a Brothers remodeling expert now to lock in the lowest prices.