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Extended manufacturer lead times 2021: Why you shouldn’t wait for your next project

October 18th, 2021 | 7 min. read

Extended manufacturer lead times 2021: Why you shouldn’t wait for your next project

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The side of a house with red brick and the top of the house frame exposed. There is a tarp hanging off the side of the house and a scaffold build along the side.  Tree branches are covering the left side of the frame.

You’ve heard the phrase one too many times: “These are unprecedented times.” 

Whether it be leaving the office for good, learning how to be a homeschool teacher, or ordering takeout instead of eating in, it’s hard to deny the statement is true. 

Industries of every kind have experienced shortages. Labor and material shortages have created delays and order backups like never before. And they’re only getting worse.

When you order something online, maybe a new television or refrigerator, it can be shocking to see “EXPECT DELAYS” in an order confirmation email. Before you know it, you’re waiting weeks to months on end for your order to come in. 

The home improvement industry is no different. Lead times for new windows, siding, doors, and even paint are longer than ever before. 

If you’ve been considering replacing your windows, upgrading your stove, or remodeling your outdoor patio, you shouldn’t wait any longer. 

Video: Why You Shouldn't Wait to Replace Your Windows in 2021" Down Below

Southwest Exteriors has been an exterior remodeling contractor in San Antonio for over 30 years. In the time we’ve been established, we have never seen or experienced anything like this. 

Windows and siding are taking up to six months to come in. Anytime we get a call that there is more paint and primer available, we get as much as we can because we never know when we’ll be able to get more. 

This is why we encourage anyone who has been thinking about getting their windows, siding, or doors replaced or having their garage floor coated to start looking now. 

In this article, we will outline the top two reasons why you shouldn’t wait to start your next project and what your next steps should be if you’re ready to jump in. 

After reading, you’ll know more about why lead times are so long, why you shouldn’t wait to start your next project, and what to do next. Then, you can feel ready and comfortable to take the next steps towards your renovation. 

Why you shouldn’t wait to start your next home remodeling project

Reason #1. Lead times for new windows, siding, doors, and more are longer than ever

The first reason why you should not wait to start your next project is that lead times are longer than they’ve ever been. This means that from the time your order is placed for your new windows, siding, paint, or whatever it may be to the time it comes in has increased exponentially over the past two years. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything and created more obstacles to keep up with the demand for products and services. There are three major reasons why lead times have become so long. 

1. Factories, warehouses, and some businesses have had to close

Some had closed temporarily for safety reasons. Others had closed permanently after they couldn’t survive a temporary closure. This has created a massive delay and backup of orders as contractors and manufacturers try to catch up.

2. Demand is higher than ever

The pandemic shut many offices down and forced people to stay at home. Many are spending more time at home than ever before, allowing them to notice things they may not have before and long for something to be upgraded.

This has made the demand for building and construction materials higher than ever. Combined with a lack of labor and supply, this has led to longer lead times. 

3. Labor shortages across all stages of the industry

After factories and businesses were forced to close their offices, some had to lay off many of their employees. Some of these employees decided not to return to their old work and find something new. 

The closure of businesses, whether temporary or permanent, has forced many into unemployment and the desire to look for something different. The home improvement industry is not immune to this and is still experiencing labor shortages today. This creates a shortage in supply, production, and installation services. 

Longer lead times are the first reason why you shouldn’t wait to start your next project. Even if you commit to your window or siding project now, you may not get them installed until 2022. 

Reason #2. Cost continues to rise

New windows, new siding, new carpet...even the cost of new shoes is higher than before. That’s just the nature of the economy. 

Not only does the cost of building materials increase every year naturally, but some manufacturers have increased their price increase percentage in order to make up for the business they may have lost over the past couple of years. 

For example, James Hardie typically implements a 2-3% price increase of their products each year just to keep up with the competitiveness in the industry. 

In 2021, they increased their prices by 18%. 

The cost of materials, labor, and installation for your home improvement project is only going to continue to increase the more time goes on. 

Any home improvement project is a large investment and can be intimidating. If the cost of a project is the only thing holding you back from starting, you will not want to wait any longer. 

What should I do if I have a home remodeling project on the horizon?

Now that you know the top two reasons why you shouldn’t wait to start your next project, you’re probably wondering what your next step should be. 

Whether you’re still on the fence or ready to look for a contractor, here’s what you should do next. 

If you aren’t quite ready to contact a contractor yet

Before contacting a contractor and taking the next step towards your project, you need to outline your wants, goals, and needs for your project. 

What type of product do you want? What are the benefits and drawbacks of those products? How is it installed? How much are you looking to pay? 

The best thing you can do before starting your next project is research. You want to learn about the product you are interested in, the contractor, the installation process, warranties, and anything you can find. 

Reading articles and watching educational videos from different sources will help you understand all aspects of your project in the detail you need. 

Education is your best defense mechanism as a homeowner when it comes to getting a high-quality project. Knowing the right answer before asking a contractor a specific question allows you to sort a great contractor from one who doesn’t know what they’re doing. 

If you’re ready to start your project and look for a contractor

Finding a trustworthy remodeling contractor can be hard. The sales persona is typically associated with sleaziness, dishonesty, and distrust. 

If you’re ready to look for a contractor, researching is also key. Knowing what to look for in a contractor and red flags to spot will also allow you to find a high-quality contractor that will give you a successful project. 

Read real client reviews. Look at pictures of their work online. Analyze their website and social media. The more research you do, the better you can find the right contractor for you and waste less time enduring multiple consultations with contractors that just aren’t right for you. 

Are you looking to learn more about your project before making a decision? 

Although you’re still not ready to take the leap and start your next project, now you know more about why you shouldn’t wait any longer to get started. 

If you’re not quite ready to call a contractor and get started on your project but have had the idea in the back of your mind, you will want to start your research now. 

Lead times are longer than they’ve ever been, and they’re only going to get longer. This means that if you wait until next year to start on your project, it’s possible you may have to wait until 2023 for your new windows to come in. 

While this article covered why you shouldn't wait to start your next project, we only touched on why lead times are so long. This article will explain the top three reasons why lead times are so long in 2021 and what contractors are doing to help aid the length of the lead times. This way, you will better understand why you should not wait to get started and can start your research now. 

Are you ready to start your project now?

After learning about why you shouldn’t wait to start your next project, you’re now ready to take the leap and look for a contractor. 

Southwest Exteriors is a window, siding, and door replacement contractor also offering concrete coatings and exterior painting. We have been established in San Antonio for over 30 years and have never experienced the demand and lack of supply that we have today. 

We encourage anyone interested in any home remodeling project not to wait and start their research now. The longer you wait, the longer the line will get. 

If you’re ready to get started on your next project, Southwest Exteriors is here to help. Fill out the form on our webpage, and a representative will call you within five minutes to talk with you about your project and help you schedule a free in-home consultation