Rainy weather impacts local builders

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 6:42 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A rainy stretch of weather is putting the brakes on several building projects, adding to an already strained industry that’s dealing with the rising costs of building materials.

The Vice President of the Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builders, Joshua Dean, said weather is always an issue for contractors and builders. And while the rainy weather has been a factor in completing projects, he said the bigger issue is the supply chain.

“Historically on remodel jobs, I would sign a contract and we’d get started in a week or two. Now, I sign a contract, order everything, get feedback, and I might not start the project for another two or three months because I’m waiting on a critical item,” Dean said.

Dean said demand for building is up because the pandemic forced many to work from home.

That increased the need for home offices, and the desire for more home improvement projects.

Deans said at the same time, 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, is costing both contractors and homeowners a lot of money.

“The Oriented Strand Board, which is a plywood material that goes on the outside of a house and on the roof deck, that’s up 700% in the past year. That has affected the bottom line. A half a million-dollar home is $18,000 more expensive just because of the OSB. That’s crazy! And when you add on the other, additional cost of materials, that half a million dollar home last year is now $550,000 to $560,000.”

Dean said weather can delay projects by days, weeks, or even months depending on the type of weather and how long it lasts.

A representative from the association has been talking to leaders in Washington about the construction issues in hopes of getting prices to come down some.

Dean said he’s optimistic things will change, but he says it’ll probably be at least a year to 18 months before things get better.

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