The COVID-19 pandemic caused severe strain on global supply chains for many industries and its effects continue to pose difficulties for Canada’s home building sector. Here in BC, we saw significant delays in home closures because of material and labour shortages. This made it difficult to project when a home build would be completed, leading to frustration for prospective homeowners.
Increased Interest in New Builds & Renovations
When people couldn’t go on family trips and vacations, they turned their interest to their immediate surroundings. Renovations and new builds skyrocketed as folks decided they wanted an upgrade or that it was “finally time to start that dream build” they’d been waiting on.
Skilled Labour & Material Shortages
This, coupled with lockdowns around the world, led to historic wait times and material shortages. As more and more workers were hired onto projects, scarcity in skilled labour was added to the issue.
Increased Cost in Building Supplies
The cost of building a home also increased by tens of thousands of dollars as a result of unheard-of price hikes on various building supplies. Though not specific to the building industry, these difficulties have been particularly painful for new-build homebuyers.
Transportation Bottlenecks & Delays
Issues in transportation also added to supply chain delays across the globe. First came a lack of containers and long waits at critical ports. Many supplies and materials landed but were stuck in a long wait line to be unloaded onto trucks. As well, global scarcity of semiconductors led to a slowdown in the production and availability of new trucks and other vehicles.
Finally, even if all went to plan, getting enough drivers for delivery trucks posed a challenge. Because most drivers are paid per trip rather than hourly, many didn’t want to wait around in long lines, unpaid, until their truck was loaded up.
Solutions to Supply Chain Issues
So how do construction companies deal with the effects of supply chain issues in Canada and the world beyond? At Chriscan Construction, we believe that we can help. With some planning, forethought, and flexibility, we can help you get your home built the way you want it and on time.
- An in-house team of professionals
By having an in-house team of professionals, we’re able to be very agile when it comes to your build. Adapting to shifting timelines and material availability is easier when you have a smaller, in-house team that is able to communicate and actively deal with issues as they arise. Outsourcing to others can create communication delays or breakdowns.
- Have a backup plan
Planning alternatives ahead of time helps alleviate the stress when costs potentially go up an excessive amount or delays occur in shipping. Change order construction, or work that can be added to or removed from the original scope of work of a contract, where time permits can also help get a project finished on time.
- Source domestic materials
Sourcing materials closer to home means fewer steps and fewer ways issues can arise during acquisition and transportation. Though you may be paying a little extra to get local materials, it could be the difference between getting a project done or not. An added bonus? You’ll be adding a local flourish to your build, making it more unique.
- Adapt and reuse
Adaptive reuse architecture and construction can also be a solution to supply chain issues in BC. Repurposing existing structures instead of starting from scratch can accelerate your build and means you aren’t as reliant on the supply chain to finish. It can also mean your project is less costly and requires fewer materials in the long run than a full new build. Using existing materials and structures can help slow urban sprawl, maintain cultural heritage and build community.
- Off-site vs on-site building
Building off-site can help accelerate your timeline by cutting down on variables and complications while still incorporating a range of floor plans and building types. Using techniques such as modular building and/or precast structures can simplify your build without losing its personality or your vision for your home. Once they’re ready, they’re moved over to the land and assembled.
Plan your next build with Chriscan
If you’re planning a new build or renovation and aren’t sure where to begin, get in touch. At Chriscan Construction, we have a proven track record of elevating residential and commercial spaces across the Okanagan. We have over 26 years of experience and will work hard to help bring your vision to life.
Contact us today to get started!