Construction costs more, takes longer to complete amid huge demand

'I have never seen it quite like this,' interior designer says
Florida construction
Posted at 9:00 PM, May 10, 2022

A shortage of materials is putting construction on hold as workers wait months for back-ordered items to become available. The construction industry is also seeing the highest price hike in more than 50 years.

"I have never seen it quite like this," Linda Allard, the president of LA Design said. "Pretty much everything has somewhat doubled in time to get products to our job sites."

For Allard, it means the typical renovation project is taking longer and costs more.

"We are ordering materials earlier," Allard said. "We're looking at alternative products."

Linda Allard, Owner LA Design Inc.
Linda Allard, the owner LA Design Inc., explains why renovation projects are taking longer these days because of a shortage of materials.

The U.S. Census Bureau said construction costs have increased nearly 18% between 2020 and 2021. That's the largest year-to-year increase they have seen in material costs since 1970.

"Copper has doubled, steel has gone up, aluminum has increased," Conor Barry, vice president of business development at Miami Systems Inc., said.

Barry said huge demand is putting pressure on supply.

"We have lead time constraints, material shortages related to customs and overseas imports," Barry said.

Boca Raton contractor Conor Barry
Boca Raton contractor Conor Barry explains that materials used in construction have risen sharply since the pandemic.

With these challenges, tenants have been forced to expect delays. At ISG Marketing, their office took longer to build than expected.

"It means double the rent when you're trying to get into a new space and also coordinate the move of 700 employees from the old facility to the new facility," Josh Slater, the CEO of ISG Inc. said. "So, we were able to make it. Everything worked out, but it's not without its issues."

But those in the construction industry are hopeful prices will fall back down.

"I think we're all very positive," Allard said. "I think that we're not going to give up. We're going to keep fighting, and we've got a lot to look forward to."

This story was originally published by Briana Nespral of WPTV in West Palm Beach, Florida.