Commercial Painting Contractors

What Material Shortages Mean for Commercial Construction Projects

  • If your facility is gearing up for a commercial construction or painting project after a year of delays and shutdowns, you may be experiencing a bit of sticker shock. A long (and growing) list of construction materials — including paint — are causing prices to rise and work to come to a grinding halt on some job sites. Contractors across the country are finding ways to circumvent these challenges and avoid passing along these costs to clients, but the struggle is expected to continue with increasing material shortages.

    The Rise in Demand and Prices 

    The commercial construction industry saw a steep decline in growth at the beginning of the pandemic nearly a year ago, and while that presented a number of challenges for contractors, it was just the beginning of a series of events that experts say is creating a “perfect storm.” Hurricanes and flooding bogged down already-slow supply chains, and 2021 began with a winter storm that temporarily crippled a large part of the logistics infrastructure in areas of the country.

    All of this has led to shortages in fundamental construction materials, and when availability dips costs sharply increase. Materials made of steel and plastic are in short order, and the price of lumber has increased nearly 80% over the last 12 months. The same raw materials used to make plastic are also used to make paint and painted coatings, exacerbating the situation even further.

    Cleveland-based paint maker Sherwin-Williams has warned of tight supplies for a number of coatings raw materials, including acrylic acid. Speaking to analysts during an earnings conference call last month, CEO Christopher M. Connor said the firm was increasing prices of architectural paint in anticipation of “mid to high single-digit percent increases” in raw material prices.

    Pittsburgh-based paint maker PPG Industries has also had to cope with raw materials problems. CEO Charles E. Bunch told analysts in mid-April that PPG saw raw material inflation and some shortages beginning in the first quarter of this year.

    Lasting Impact

    The national median price to build a home has increased over $36,000 to $329,000 on average for residential buyers. As you can imagine, commercial construction with a much higher price tag and bigger footprint can cost a great deal more now that contractors are facing these material shortages.

    In fact, lumber and other supplies are such hot commodities right now, some contractors have been reporting jobsite thefts of construction materials. It’s unclear how long the material shortages will last and how much prices will increase before the bubble pops and supply chains open up again to allow for a freer flow of supplies — but experts do say the day will come soon enough, perhaps within the next year to 18 months.

    How Do We Solve This Challenge?

    While the seemingly easy option is for facility managers and property owners to put off commercial painting and construction projects, that’s not often practical or even feasible. In order to avoid paying more for these projects than necessary, work with experienced contractors that have a beat on suppliers who can provide materials and commercial paint at prices that won’t blow facility improvement budgets out of the water. 

    If your commercial painting or construction contractor isn’t transparent with their communication about pricing, it may be time to find a new partner that can be open and honest about potential price increases. If your project involves a team of contractors, ensure that they’re all communicating with each other to avoid any other missteps that add to the cost of your commercial painting or construction project. 

    Talk to Our Team

    We’re well aware of the increasing prices of commercial painting and construction, and we’re doing everything we can to minimize that cost for our clients. We are dedicated to competitive pricing combined with the highest quality union workmanship and responsive service. We continuously earn your loyalty by controlling costs, making your life easier, and making you look great doing it!

    As a family-owned union company, our reputation with construction contractors, residential and commercial property managers, hospitals, and direct owners has been built on service and trust. We do the job right, on time and on budget. Every time. Our competitive pricing is unmatched in the St. Louis area. We value our customers as partners so we start with a consultation to fully understand your budget and goals.

    Give us a call today and let’s get started on your success — we only leave the paint behind!

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