Don’t panic! It’s not toilet paper this time! Now we have a shortage of materials related to home improvement and home building. It all seems to come down to supply chain disruptions stemming from pandemic restrictions, slowdowns in manufacturing plants, and even natural disasters. The list of all the various building materials and products is quite extensive, but these three come into play the most if you’re considering a remodel or even purchasing a new home:
- Lumber – wood remains one of the basic ingredients for home building and renovating, but prices have surged as dwindling supplies have caused building delays, boosted costs and have added uncertainty in projecting costs for renovation and building budgets. As an example, according to Wells Fargo analysts, prices for a standard 1,000 board feet of lumber has increased from $347 to $1,645 between May 2020 and May 2021.
- Paint – this is also getting harder to come by as builders are having to wait for supplies of more paint as some of the more common paints are out of stock. That is primarily stemming from the Texas winter storms that caused a slowdown in petrochemical production, as petroleum products are essential for paint manufacturing operations. According to a spokesperson for Sherwin Williams, even as the recovery is significantly improving, consumers can expect to pay $6 to $40 more per bucket, depending on the color.
- Appliances – 95% of home builders are reporting shortages of appliances, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ May survey. This is echoed by new home builders, Summerhill, as they just don’t have reliable schedules for appliance deliveries, so they are asking buyers at the Los Gatos Bellaterra development to purchase refrigerators on their own until the fall when it’s anticipated to improve.
Hopefully, now that we’re slowly starting to see our lives return to more of a normal, non-pandemic life, we’ll see these shortages diminish just like COVID has. In the mean time, you may have to do a bit more planning to accommodate increased prices and possible project delays. To read more about the building material shortages, check out Barron’s recent article here.