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COVID 19 and Material Shortages: What You Need to Know

July 21, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everything- from our individual lives and routines to global supply chains and markets. The home improvement sector has not been exempt from COVID-related disruptions. Namely: supply constraints, an increase in global demand, and overall market uncertainties have combined to create a construction materials shortage. 

We wanted to provide a little more context around what’s happening and explain how it might impact your project. Our goal is always complete transparency with customers, so here’s what you may need to know. 

What’s Happening With Lumber Shortages?

Supply constraints: Lumber mills across the country had to either stop or dramatically slow down their production during the first shutdowns in March. This caused a backup in the overall available supply of lumber and other construction materials when operations resumed in May.

Increased demand: There has been a large (and sudden) increase in the demand for construction materials, particularly for lumber that has been treated for outdoor use. The Wall Street Journal has reported a sharp rise in demand and material cost starting in April of this year. This has been due to factors like professional builders all ordering at once to make up for time lost during shutdowns, more home projects being completed by people who are spending most of their time at home (and can’t spend their money on things like travel or entertainment) and a sudden rush among restaurants and bars to install outdoor seating areas that comply with social distancing regulations.

Market uncertainties: The pandemic has created a lot of volatility and uncertainty in global markets. As people speculate about the future cost of an item (referred to as ‘futures’) it can actually increase the price of that item in the present. With lumber, “futures” are up more than 85% since the start of April. That means the price for purchasing lumber has drastically increased. 

Lumber Commodities Pricing, Source: Nasdaq

What Does This Mean For My Project?


Our team is working hard to procure the building materials from all available sources. Established companies like Ergeon are still able to acquire the materials needed for projects, just on a slightly longer timeline. Smaller contractors who are trying to source materials piece-by-piece or not in bulk will experience far greater delays and complications. 

It may also take longer to schedule your installation. Many companies are waiting on the availability of the same materials, so your project timeline may be extended depending on the availability of the materials needed.

To ensure transparency, we’ve temporarily added the label “COVID Materials Cost Inflation Adjustment” to new quotes and expired quotes starting July 14th, 2020.  This temporary surcharge covers the sharp rise in material costs due to the pandemic. We will honor any active quotes created prior to July 14th.

Read more about Ergeon's Covid-19 response here

Who to Contact with Questions


If you have questions about how this might impact your project, contact your dedicated Customer Service agent or email us at contact@ergeon.com.

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