The pandemic shut down factories, interrupted shipping and stymied supply chains last year and early this year for many essential products in construction, from lumber to steel to PVC pipes.
At the same time, demand has remained strong for new construction in both housing and commercial work.
As a result, “the prices just skyrocketed for materials in plumbing, framing, lumber,” said Kenneth Jones, owner of Prestige Construction, a contractor that does both residential and commercial work. The company’s current projects include a new commercial building just off Midlothian Turnpike.
“Even metal studs have increased some in price,” Jones said.
“It affects everyone,” Jones said, adding that he has not seen a market quite like this in his 30 years in the business. “The demand is still there, though.”
The pandemic also disrupted supplies for appliances and electrical wiring materials using copper.
“The majority of electrical wiring inside any building is copper,” KBS’ Paulette said.
“Water heaters and certain light fixtures have been difficult to fulfill,” Paulette said. “Lead times are long. We have seen the cost of concrete go up recently. We are really seeing it across the board on almost all elements of a building.”