The construction season is just getting underway across the Maritimes and some builders say they are starting to experience a shortage of materials and fear they may run short for the summer.
“Worst case scenario is that mid-summer, we have no material to continue,” said Pierre Martell, owner of Martell Home Builders in Moncton, N.B.
Martell said building materials are in short supply due to the pandemic and with residential and commercial construction seasons now underway, he is worried that his company may be forced to delay construction jobs this summer.
Martell said his local suppliers are trying to maintain stock levels. But he said he is concerned that COVID-19 related production delays of building materials across Canada and the U.S. are going to lead to product shortages at the worksites as the season progresses.
“There is a huge shortage on drywall, PVC piping, electrical and lumber. There is still a shortage and it is up almost 300 per cent since pre-COVID. So I am very nervous for the season,” he said.
Maritime Door and Window, a Moncton manufacturer, is struggling to procure steel and wood to build its products according to Mike Mann, the company’s president.
“There isn’t a supply chain anywhere in the building supply industry that hasn’t been impacted,” he said.
Mann said that some customers are having to wait longer to have some orders filled but the company is stocking up on products to try to reduce delays.
“There have been some extended lead times on certain products and to hammer those down, we are stocking a whole lot more. So we have a lot more inventory than we normally would this time of the year,” Mann said.
As material supplies dwindle, the cost of building materials is skyrocketing, said Martell, who added the cost of lumber alone is up 300 per cent0 over pre-COVID-19 pricing.
“Every single week we get a call from a new supplier that there has been a new material price increase.”
New home construction costs have increased 25 per cent since the onset of the pandemic, Martell said.
“I, unfortunately, have to crush people’s dreams because they can no longer afford to build,” he said.
Despite the price increases, he said new home construction is still booming. Those who can afford to build, he added, are most concerned that they won’t be able to access the materials they need to build their dream home.View link »