BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (WBRC) – A period of wet weather is holding back several construction projects, adding to an already strained industry that faces rising costs for building materials.
Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builders vice chairman Joshua Dean said weather is always a problem for contractors and builders. And although the rainy weather was a factor in the completion of the projects, he said the biggest problem was the supply chain.
âHistorically, for the renovations, I would sign a contract and we would start in a week or two. Now I sign a contract, I order everything, I get feedback, and I might not start the project for two or three months because I’m waiting for a critical item, âDean said.
Dean said demand for construction is on the rise because the pandemic has forced many people to work from home.
This has increased the need for home offices and the desire for more home improvement projects.
Deans said at the same time that baby boomers are looking to downsize their homes, while millennials are looking to buy.
He said all of this, coupled with supply chain issues and the rising price of building materials, are costing contractors and homeowners a lot of money.
âOriented strand board, which is a plywood material that goes on the exterior of a home and on the roof deck, has increased 700% over the past year. This affected the bottom line. A half a million dollar house costs $ 18,000 more just because of the OSB panels. It’s crazy! And when you add the other extra cost of materials, that half a million dollar house last year is now $ 550,000 to $ 560,000. “
Dean said the weather can delay plans by days, weeks, or even months depending on the type of weather and how long it is.
A representative of the association spoke to officials in Washington about the construction issues in the hope of lowering prices.
Dean has said he’s optimistic things will change, but he says it will likely take at least a year to 18 months before things get better.
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