Industry Trends

Mining the data field: Materials causing the greatest construction delays

Don’t let delays derail your construction timelines. Learn what materials are leading the supply chain shortage – and how your business can win days back.

Materials causing the greatest construction delays

The wait isn’t over yet.

Building materials shortages and supply chain issues have persisted well into 2022, pushing back project timelines and raising construction costs.

Industrywide, everybody is playing the waiting game right now. The Great Supply Disruption, as it can so frustratingly be dubbed, continues into the spring as construction teams begin to approach their busy season. The temps are soaring – and so too is the time it takes for materials to be delivered.

From floor to ceiling, and everything in between, it seems almost all key items are in limited supply for home builders. However, some materials are causing greater sourcing headaches than others. The question is … which supplies reign supreme in a race nobody wants to win?

Even more importantly, how do home builders combat these setbacks?

It starts with staying informed. By knowing which commodities are causing the longest construction delays, you know where the fight starts. Buildertrend is here to help. We’re mining our data field to take a closer look at delays and assess which items are the biggest offenders.

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A builder's guide to recession survival

Jobs delayed 46.8 days on average in 2022

According to proprietary data of existing Buildertrend customers, there is on average a total of 46.8 days of delays across an entire job. That data might not seem dramatic, but it becomes more concerning when considering the average was 21.55 days in 2021. That’s a 117.5% increase year over year.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a slow and steady uptick of delayed days. Then 2022 came.

Delays skyrocketed as the perfect storm of challenges rolled across the residential industry. Material costs are volatile. Labor is scarce. The supply chain has led to countless supply pains.

Let’s take dive deep into our data and look material by material.

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Which materials are causing the greatest construction delays?

1. Siding

  • Average days delayed: 17
  • Percent increase since 2019: 183.3%

2. Windows

  • Average days delayed: 13
  • Percent increase since 2019: 333.3%

3. Doors

  • Average days delayed: 12
  • Percent increase since 2019: 200%

4. Framing

  • Average days delayed: 10
  • Percent increase since 2019: 233.3%

5. Roofing

  • Average days delayed: 9
  • Percent increase since 2019: 200%
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How do you deal with construction delays?

Construction material shortages aren’t just taxing on a home builder’s time. They eat away at profit margins, too. Unfortunately, as the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, pent-up demand may soon follow. With that, supply chain disruptions would continue – but you don’t have to let them slow you down.

Here are five ways you can take action against the shortage of construction material:

1. Level set client expectations

A project that once took seven months now may take eight or nine. With that in mind, it’s important to clearly communicate extended timelines with clients from the start. You’ll keep them happy, take stress off your team and protect your business’ reputation in the long run.

2. Plan ahead

A little bit of planning goes a long way. Many vendors prioritize consistent current customers, so start a conversation as soon as possible if you anticipate a need where you don’t already have a relationship.

Your current suppliers may have the ability to help you in ways that you haven’t thought of, too. Just remember to be proactive about communicating your specific needs – and it’s never a bad idea to start purchasing sooner than what was once considered normal.

3. Map out your purchasing processes

Procurement processes go through stages, evolving as your business develops over time. From evaluating suppliers to completing payments – and every step in between – it’s important to have an organized purchasing path. When outlining yours, include who is involved at each point, what actions are needed and how long it takes.

You can then quickly assess the timeline to see what areas work effectively and where improvements are needed.

4. Make your job sites more efficient with technology

If you can’t reduce the number of days it takes supply to get to you, find ways to save time elsewhere with construction software.

It’s a proven fact: Home builders benefit from automating processes with project management software like Buildertrend. You’ll reduce errors from manual entry, cut down on the use of time-consuming spreadsheets, gain better visibility into schedules and improve productivity across the board.

To learn further about the benefits of construction software, schedule a Buildertrend demo today. There are more tips where this came from, too. Check out our guide on strengthening purchasing processes.

Key takeaway

In today’s environment, delays are inevitable. Knowing what’s causing the biggest hang-ups is a great start – then taking actionable steps to make your business more efficient will ensure you come out on top.

About The Author

Sean Robinson

Sean Robinson Sean Robinson is a senior content marketing specialist at Buildertrend

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