According to Random Lengths, the price of lumber is up 188% since the start of the pandemic. The Producer Price Index shows that iron and steel scrap have skyrocketed 50.8%. Crude oil is up about 80%, just from October – which has caused oil-based products like paint, drainpipes and shingles to also spike.
Even the global semiconductor shortage is impacting construction, as trucks and heavy equipment manufacturers delay production schedules, and slow deliveries of appliances and other systems that rely on electronics are delaying project completion.
The forces driving these prices range from the obvious (COVID-19-related disruption), to the less obvious (a shipping container shortage). Planning has also been a culprit – as demand plummeted early in the pandemic, suppliers did not foresee the sudden spike in demand that would occur as people relocated from cities to less-congested suburbs.
In fact, shortly after suppliers cut production, new housing starts began to rise and are currently up 30% year-over-year according to the U.S. census.
All of this adds up to a tough season for contractors – the cost of materials is way up, the reliability of timely delivery is a crap shoot, and amid all of this, the dramatically increasing value of the assets lying around the worksite are a crime magnet.
The Site Security Mandate
We’ve detailed before the best security practices for keeping construction sites crime-free. With today’s dramatic increase in the value of materials on jobsites, it’s never been more important to follow these practices. Key things to remember include:
These will be trying times for construction firms as they try to keep projects on budget and on schedule amid price spikes and delivery delays. Investing in site security can eliminate yet another source of disruption and margin erosion: criminals seeking to cash in on valuable construction materials and equipment.
To learn more about how Pro-Vigil can secure your construction sites, contact us today.