'It’s the worst I’ve ever seen it'; price of building materials soars due to shortage
HALIFAX -- Deverne Kaiser has been working in the building supplies industry for 45 years.
These days, you’ll find him at Taylor Timber Mart in Musquodoboit Harbour, N. S. working as a project estimator.
Kaiser says the demand for materials is outstripping the supply.
“Doors, mouldings, drywall right now is in short supply,” he explains. “Things that we’ve never seen before on a regular basis. This is the worst I’ve ever seen it.”
He says a lot of factors are to blame for the shortage.
“The freeze up in Texas, the storms on the East Coast, the flooding in the Mid West, all that combined, and of course the pandemic,” he says.
He says when you combine these all of these world events, such as the blockage of the Suez Canal for example, plus the pandemic, and low interest rates, “It becomes a real problem.”
In the community of Porters Lake, the general manager of Nature Ridge Homes says the high cost and low supply is challenging at times.
“What we’re able to get as far as interior doors, I never had an issue getting different styles of interior doors,” explains builder Josh Norwood. “Now, we’re having a lot of issues getting certain materials, trim, doors, acrylic for bathtubs, and stuff like that. Plumbing fixtures, those kinds of things are definitely getting harder and harder to get. “
Norwood says he’s currently stockpiling a number of common materials and supplies, like bathtubs for example, in anticipation of more possible shortages.
“Our timelines now for houses are definitely longer, than they were even a year or two ago,” Norwood adds. “Right now, an example I can give you would be windows, the order time for windows is minimum three months.”
He says a window order would typically arrive in one month and a half.
But those looking to build a new home say it’s frustrating to see the prices climb.
“First we were quoted around $450,000, now we’re being quoted between five and 550,” says Gaetz Brook resident Emily Hunter.
Builder Josh Norwood says for now, the situation is out of his control.
He’s hopeful supply and demand will balance out once the pandemic is over.