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Construction Industry Update: Material Pricing & Leadtimes

Updated: Jun 17, 2021

This week I sat down for an interview with one of the leading custom home builders in Murrells Inlet, SC. Mike Poulin of Poulin Custom Builders was nice enough to let me interview him on the current state of the construction industry and what challenges he is facing post-pandemic. Mike and I have enjoyed working on custom projects together over the years and I value his insight and advice for homeowners looking to remodel or build.

Here are 3 key takeaways from our conversation which is posted in full on my Facebook and Instagram accounts.

#1 The remodel and new construction is still booming. Pent up demand from homeowners stuck at home during 2020 itching to remodel or build a new home all together hasn't missed a beat. It's only increased. Problem is, the construction industry just like every other one prepared for a recession at the onset of the pandemic, cutting back production and laying off workers. All of this took place unfortunately just before the demand for materials and labor literally skyrocketed. In addition shipping ports are overcrowded and materials as simple as glue used to make plywood is hard to come by thus driving up industry prices and lead-times.

#2 Homeowners need to be patient and understand that contractors are doing the best they can with the information they are given from suppliers. "It's really a moving target", says Mike Poulin.

"By partnering with suppliers who can give us actual lead-times, even if longer than usual, is how we are estimating construction lead-times the best we can." He estimates that the market will start seeing improvements in the fall and hopefully level out next year, but probably still not going back to where it was. The saving grace has been historically low interest rates around 3% enabling many homeowners to finance their projects over a long period of time to cushion the blow of higher construction costs. In fact, Mike has seen very few homeowners put their projects on hold.

#3 The best way to approach any new construction or remodel project is to PLAN AHEAD. This is where I come in (shameless plug). It makes so much sense to design your project ahead of time, make material selections and know the approximate lead-times all before hiring a contractor. This allows your contractor to...

  • Quickly estimate your project cost

  • Place material orders asap

  • Start demo or building at an appropriate date

  • Finish your project faster

Unfortunately, Mike says most homeowners don't start this process until after they hire a contractor which can really slow the project down. For example, his company built a brand new beach house that's been framed up since April 2 and they are still waiting for windows and doors. It's June 2 as I write this!

So the moral of the story is to PLAN AHEAD my friends. Whether you are planning to do your own design work or hire a designer to help you, it's never too soon to get started.

If you are planning on building a new home or remodeling your kitchen this fall or early next year, you can join my exciting new KITCHEN DESIGN PROGRAM to design it with me! Or just hire me instead lol! But my new kitchen design program will save you lots of money at a time when building costs are high. Click below to grab my free guide and learn more about the program.


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