DES MOINES, IOWA — Construction season has arrived in Iowa – unfortunately builders are finding many must have supplies are in scarce supply.
The US Chamber of Commerce’s commercial construction index shows that 71% of builders nationwide are dealing with shortages of lumber, steel, electrical and lighting supplies. Those shortages and corresponding price increases are being felt in Iowa, too.
At Lumbermans Drywall and Roofing Supply in Des Moines, drywall prices up 45% while roofing materials have climbed 40%. They are also struggling to keep up with demands for lumber and drywall from customers with limited supplies available.
“The COVID (pandemic) was the first reason for a lot of it,” explains Gary Scrutchfield, Lumbermans’ president. But those problems have been made worse by natural disasters. “With the cold spell down South states of Texas in Louisiana, the demand on wallboard has just skyrocketed because of all the interior damage that was done because all the water pipes bursting in that nature,” says Scrutchfield.
The severe storms in Texas shutdown a number of plastics and resin plants which are still not back on line. Those plants create materials for vinyl siding and electrical supplies.