Remodelers Worry Over Labor Shortages

May 9, 2018

Remodelers report that growing labor shortages are delaying projects and increasing the amount they have to charge homeowners, according to the National Association of Home Builder’s Remodeling Market Index survey for the third quarter of 2017. Those needing a carpenter may find the most trouble; 91 percent of remodelers reported shortages of labor in carpentry work.

More than half of remodelers surveyed reported shortages in 12 of the 15 remodeling jobs analyzed. The most difficult building professionals to find were carpenters, bricklayers, masons, drywall installers, and concrete workers. Overall, labor shortages have been growing in recent years, particularly in the homebuilding sector.

The most common result of these shortages is higher costs for customers and difficulty completing projects on time, remodelers say. Survey respondents reported the following effects on their business:

  • Higher wages/subcontractor bids: 76%
  • Higher prices for customers: 71%
  • Difficulty completing projects on time: 68%
  • Turning down some projects: 51%
  • Slowed rate of accepting incoming orders: 45%
  • Making some projects unprofitable: 40%
  • Seeking labor/subs from wider geography: 38%
  • Lost/canceled sales: 35%

Source: “For Remodelers, Labor Shortages Resume Aggravating Trend,” National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing blog (May 8, 2018)