When Can We Start?

When Can We Start?

In today’s construction market, often our customer’s first question is “When will you be able to start?”  This is in sharp contrast to the first question we most often were asked a few short years ago which was, “When can you be finished?”  Both questions focus on the timeframe, but they are driven by the market condition that relates to product and workforce availability.  Everyday we hear reports of product shortages that range from computer chips to potato chips.  This holds true for construction materials as well.  The material shortage is driven by component materials, workforce shortages and shipping issues.  Based on material availability, the question “When will you be able to start?” is more valid than ever.  Project start dates are based when main building component will be on site, which is contrary to 2 years ago.  In the past, most projects could be scheduled based on permitting, season and completion requirements.  This scheduling shift requires excellent planning and communication.

In the past 24 months, lead times for building component increased approximately 60%.  Products such as concrete block, commercial and residential doors, hardware, treated lumber, appliances, and hardware, just to name a few that are in short supply.  On top of shortage and longer lead times, our suppliers cannot guarantee pricing in most cases for more than 10 days.  This does not mean that all material prices are high, it just means that they are fluctuating regularly.

Here are few tips for planning a construction project in today’s market:

  • Start planning early
  • Detail your requirements
  • Choose a contractor that you trust and commit to them
  • Be flexible in your material selection
  • Lock your pricing in early
  • Plan for delays in material delivery
  • Be ready to make informed and prompt decisions

Even though construction project planning looks different than it did a few years ago, our MJI Building Services team is ready to adapt.

“If a plan doesn’t work, change the plan, but never the goal”-Unknown

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