Wondering how building material shortages could affect your home build?

  • Home Owner Tips
  • Monday, September 13, 2021

Since the onset of the pandemic, many aspects of how we live and work have been affected. One of the repercussions has been the skyrocketing price of lumber. The good news is that the volatile lumber market has fallen and prices have begun to stabilize, although they are still above pre-pandemic levels. However, supplies of lumber, sheet metal and other home building products continue to fall short of demand, an ongoing concern for both construction companies and homebuilders.

At Trico, we always want to be transparent with our customers. We recognize these shortages may result in a longer home build-out time than expected. That’s why we’re disclosing some of our current supply challenges, so that you are aware of potential delays and in turn, our efforts to address them.

Labour Shortages

Calgary LabourCurrently, one of the biggest issues facing the industry is the problem of labour shortages, particularly when it comes to Framers. This is due to a combination of factors: summer reopening, the volume of builds in backlog, and the problem of the labour shortage itself driving up wages. For example, while we may be receiving lumber that was previously in short supply, there is difficulty in booking a framer at an affordable price to work with it.

The Plumbing, Electrical, and HVAC sectors have also been hit hard, in addition to interior finishing and installation labour, such as workers who install cabinetry, tile, flooring.

Engineered Wood Products
(commonly referred to as joists & beams)

These materials are what construct the floor systems in most single-family homes, and since last Fall, manufacturers have had a hard time keeping up with demand. This was further compounded by the storm that hit Texas in February, forcing closures at one of North America’s highest producing facility of resin, a component used in the manufacturing process.

Fibreglass Tub & Shower Products

Delivery of these products are being affected by both raw material shortages and manufacturing capacity and are currently on allocation of supply (meaning the amount each customer can purchase is limited).

Vinyl & Aluminum Exterior Cladding &
Asphalt Shingle Products (Roofing)

These materials are used to protect our homes from the weather elements, and like many other construction products, are heavily oversold across North America. Production was also impacted by the storms in Texas. As a result, many manufacturers have temporarily discontinued less popular colour choices to focus their capacity on the best-selling products to meet demand.

Demand for this type of product is also especially high in Calgary due to the thousands of homes still requiring repairs from the historical hail storm that ravaged our city last June. As spring and summer are prime times for performing this work, there has been a rush to secure the limited supplies currently available on the market.

Electrical Products (Wiring & Fixture Boxes)

These products have been in constant short supply for the past 9 months and while Trico was previously able to purchase in mass quantities, this is now subjected to allocation of supply as well.

Vitreous China
(commonly referred to as sinks and toilets)

ChinaThese products are now in short supply, and it has been necessary to make many costly substitutions. Many of these items are manufactured overseas and recent shipping delays, along with an increased demand in shipping containers, has delayed delivery times and made timelines difficult to predict.

Although more shortages may arise in the next few months, we remain optimistic for the future. Our team is actively exploring alternative materials and options that are of equal or greater quality standards, and in cases of extreme shortages, we are committed to continuing the work using slightly different products that are considered upgrades to the homeowner. Despite these changes, Trico will never compromise the quality and craftsmanship we promise to our homeowners.

We appreciate your patience and understanding during this trying time. If you have any questions about our homes, please feel free to contact one of our Area Sales Managers or Home Experts.

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