3 Home Remodeling Delays in Austin TX

There are 3 home remodeling delays in Austin TX right now causing serious challenges and frustrations.

I want to share my thoughts about them and offer a  solution.

The three sources of delay are Covid 19 caused supply chain delays, the nation-wide shortage of construction workers and the huge influx of people moving here. Together they are creating a perfect storm of home remodeling delays in the Austin area right now.

I receive several calls each week right now from other contractors asking for help for labor because they cannot find enough workers. When I say help, I mean both qualified, experienced labor and also just general help with zero experience.

 

Worker Shortages

There is a shortage of both and all contractors are actively seeking both on a daily basis. My crew chiefs are currently working most of their projects themselves with little help as we try and help as many customers as we can. I hear the same from most of my friends in the industry, partners and competitors as we try and help each other or simply call to cry on each other’s shoulder during this busy season.

In fact, as CNN reported, America desperately needs 1 million more construction workers.

A big reason for this shortage of workers is the aging US population and the absence of shop classes. Shop classes used to be a regular asset of high schools. It prepared hundreds of thousands of young people (men mostly) with vital training  to hit the ground running in a construction job. Nowadays, high school shop classes are few and far between. Yung people just don’t have the opportunity to experience the pleasure of working with their hands.

Or the sense that they can succeed in construction.  They don’t have the skills or confidence. Consequently, young men simply can’t or don’t want to become construction workers.

Building Materials Delays

Now, add to that a shortage of materials across the board affecting each very trade resulting from reduced manufacturing during the pandemic year and half and it only increases the daily frustrations felt by local contractors. Materials we used to order and receive in two weeks for installation have been extended, in some cases, to 6 and 12-week timeframes for availability.

Some items we use on a daily basis have not been in stores for several months with no announced dates for restocking. This has caused frustrations to contractors who are trying to give clients hard dates when scheduling projects. Schedules have to be accepted as flexible by homeowner right now to help eliminate some frustration and customer disappointments.

As a consequence, homeowners and everyone involved in a remodeling project have to accept that schedules must be flexible.

Massive Migration to Austin

The greatest contributing factor in this perfect storm continues to be the overwhelming demand for construction and remodel projects as new residents continue pouring into the Austin area. It’s the old basic principle of supply and demand. There is currently a greater demand for construction and remodel projects than there are qualified contractors to do the work.

Most of my new construction residential builders are currently booked into next year and not accepting any more work this year.

These guys actually reach out to me each week as well asking if we can jump in and help meet deadlines for them. Sometimes we can and most times we can/’ because we are also booked out with multiple crews from several weeks on certain scopes and even months on other bigger projects. This is the case with most of the better contractors in the Austin area.

No one should be without work in this market if they are worth their salt. be wary of anyone that can start a big remodel job tomorrow.

Summing up, with the shortage of labor and materials and the increased demand for construction projects in the Austin area, there are many obstacles to overcome. Frustrations are daily and stress is abundant, but the greatest cure to all of this is patience. If you have patience and then work and communicate with your contractor during these unprecedented times, setting realistic goals and schedules, everyone will win and Austin will continue being the best city to live in America.

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