RICHMOND, Ky. (FOX 56) – Summer is known to be a busy time for the construction industry, and according to AP News, many sectors within construction, like roofing companies, are facing material shortages.
Thomas Quality Construction in Richmond is a family-owned business that has been working on residential and commercial roofs since 2001.
The company said that on top of new summer projects starting, recent severe weather systems like the December tornados and the hail storms a few weeks ago has increased their demand for roof repairs.
Austin Martin, exterior specialist for Thomas Quality Construction said, “We used to forecast for a material increase, once every six months, now I’m doing estimates, and I’ll only guarantee the price good for 30 days.”
Martin said that is because standard shingles are now hard to come by. Previous to 2020, Martin said materials were readily available. He could place an order in an afternoon and have it ready by the next morning. Now, it’s more than a two week lead time for suppliers to allocate roofing materials.
“You just have to relay to the customer, ‘Ya know hey, every other customer has a leaky roof as well, and we’re just doing them chronologically and as quick as we possibly can,” Martin said.
Thomas Quality Construction said that in spite of the delays from the roofing material shortage, their productivity rate is up. They are having to tell customers to expect at least 30 days now for a job to be completed.
“After 30 days, the customer can contact me, I’ll still have all the information from the job, they can verify if the price is still the same, or if it’s gone up any. I’ll check with suppliers and see what I can do,” Martin said.
While accommodating customers to the best of their abilities, Martin said some shortages are unattainable, like with designer shingles for customers living in historic homes or contracting a building at a university.
“I have a customer at the moment that’s been waiting since August of last year,” Martin said.
Adjusting to the impacts of the shortages, Martin said their business has gotten better with both forecasting and ordering extra materials, including roofing accessories, to keep their foreman busy.
“Well now, we’re planning for more excess on our material orders, because if we run short on that job, there might not be any around for weeks for us to finish that job,” Martin said.
Martin, along with owner Matt Thomas, said production of standard shingles have been down at a rate of 40-percent lately, but market insight has told them production should be back up by 80% by July 2022.
Thomas Quality Construction is hoping that will help them catch up with the demand.
“Contractors are incredibly overworked at the moment. we’re like a restaurant with a capacity of 100, but we have 150 people trying to eat right now,” Martin said.
As a recommendation to customers planning on having their roofs worked on soon, Thomas Quality Construction said to anticipate at least a 30 day lead time from the initial visit to the time the work is completed, with about two weeks of labor included in that period.
To reach out to Thomas Quality Construction for an estimate, click here.