Building Material Shortages Continue To Affect New Home Builds In 2022
- Home Owner Tips
- Monday, March 7, 2022
The pandemic has triggered a sharp drop in interest rates, a vast build-up in household equity and changing housing needs that sent an unprecedented wave of Canadians rushing to purchase a home. By mid-2021, existing inventories of both pre-owned and newly built homes were substantially depleted, especially sought after single-family homes, which left homebuilders trying to increase inventory in order to meet the demands of buyers.
One of the many repercussions of the pandemic has again been the skyrocketing price of lumber. While lumber prices did stabilize for a very short period fall in of 2021, the lumber industry has been highly volatile at the start of 2022 as pricing has increased drastically once again. Supplies of lumber and other home building products continue to fall short of demand and as such remain the main concerns for both construction trades and suppliers as well as homebuilders.
At Trico we strive to be transparent with all our customers. We recognize that these shortages are resulting in a longer than anticipated build time. We hope that sharing information and outlining challenges on both the materials and labour sides will help in better understanding the situation that we all find ourselves in.
Labour shortages continue to be one of the biggest challenges facing the industry, particularly when it comes to Framers. This is due to a combination of factors, including the volume of homes in backlog, and the problem of the labour shortage itself driving up wages. The Plumbing, Electrical, and HVAC sectors continue to struggle, in addition to interior finishing and installation labour, such as workers who install cabinetry, tile, and flooring.
Engineered Wood Products (commonly referred to as joists & beams):
These materials are used to construct the floor systems in most single-family homes, and since 2020, manufacturers have had a hard time keeping up with increasing demand. This was further compounded by the storm that hit Texas in February 2021, forcing closure at one of North America’s highest producing facilities of resin, a component used in the manufacturing process.
Fibreglass Tub & Shower Products:
Delivery of these products is being affected by both raw material shortages and manufacturing capacity and are currently on supply allocation (meaning the amount each customer can purchase is very 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 2021 winter 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 market demand.
Electrical Products (Wiring & Fixture Boxes):
These products have been in constant short supply for the past year and while Trico was previously able to pre-purchase in mass quantities, this continues to be subjected to supply allocation.
Vitreous China (commonly referred to as sinks & toilets):
These products continue to be in short supply, and it has been necessary to make numerous costly substitutions. Many of these items are manufactured overseas and are facing shipping delays, along with an increased demand in shipping containers, timelines have been very difficult to predict.
Sourcing appliances have been particularly challenging over the past two years. Manufacturers are having difficulties acquiring components necessary to complete the finished products, particularly when it comes to raw materials for electronics. This, in combination with problems with staffing due to COVID, and significant delays in shipping and distribution, has left manufacturers unable to keep up with demand.
There have been increasing delays in acquiring garage doors since mid-2020. The increase in demand along with the increasing cost of steel has caused manufacturers major issues in processing orders. We have attempted to mitigate this by placing bulk orders well in advance; however, demand for product as well as excessive delays in transportation are still causing issues in acquisition.
Although we expect further shortages in materials and labour, we remain optimistic for the future. Our team continuously explores alternate materials and options that are of equal or greater value and in cases of extreme shortages Trico is committed to continue working on alternatives which are considered upgrades in order to meet timelines and customer expectations, often with no monetary repercussions to our valued customers. Despite these challenges, we will never compromise on the quality and craftsmanship we strive for in each and every home we build.
We appreciate your patience and understanding during these trying times. If you have any questions or concerns about your new home build, please feel free to contact your Area Sales Manager.