We realize it’s hard to be patient after a long, unpredictable year waiting for the world to open back up from the pandemic. With many stuck inside, more homeowners than ever are ready to make upgrades and take on new home improvement projects but are finding they are forced to wait longer than usual due to high demand and limited supply of lumber and other materials. And no one likes to wait, especially this year. Cabinetmakers Choice is sympathetic to these frustrations. We have made it our mission to help meet our customers’ needs, delivering our fine product lines as quickly and efficiently as possible. We’re working overtime to fill orders and help our customers design and implement the projects of their dreams.
Fortunately, this situation will not last forever. For now though, the challenges are real and the reasons varied. To keep our customers in the loop, we’ve laid out the major factors keeping wait times far longer than usual for our cabinetry makers; Conestoga Wood Specialties, Fabuwood, and Executive Cabinetry.
- Demand: orders are at record high levels, with backlogs more than doubling in the past year for our suppliers.
- Supply: raw materials are difficult and slower to obtain due to global shortages in lumber, steel, glass, MDF and commodities such as adhesives, abrasives and finishing supplies. In fact, the average price of a new home has risen by $36,000.
- Cost of materials has risen anywhere from 50% to 300% and lumber prices continue to climb.
- Labor shortages: the need for employees has increased BUT workers are harder to find due to quarantine restrictions, potential worker hesitancy, and school shutdowns.
Making matters worse, a big freeze in Texas, blizzards in Pennsylvania and Hurricane Florence in North Carolina, severe winter conditions in the Pacific Northwest, and the cargo ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal all added extra complications to an already strained supply chain of home improvement project materials.
Thankfully, things are changing and there are good reasons to be optimistic.
- Spring is an annual boom time for construction. As the season recedes, we expect to see demand begin to level off perhaps by mid-summer. Inventory may have a chance to catch up by late summer or fall.
- Our suppliers are finding innovative ways to improve production, such as utilizing technology to reduce labor needs and improve quality and efficiency.
- In order to increase their workforce and improve job satisfaction, Conestoga Wood Specialties has made “major improvements to wage structures, benefits, hiring bonuses, retention bonuses, referral bonuses, flexible time off, etc.” As more people get vaccinated and schools, daycare centers and camps open up, hiring will surely be less of a challenge.
Cabinetmakers Choice is making every effort to satisfy our customers’ needs, just as our suppliers are doubling their efforts to provide us with inventory. Helping to make homes more beautiful and practical is our business, and we’re here to serve our clientele through all the market’s ups and downs. We’re not going anywhere–and we hope you will ride out this challenging time with us.