10 Most Difficult Building Materials to Obtain

The National Association of Home Builders recently conducted a survey of home builders across the United States of building materials that are currently the hardest to obtain. Some of these are widely known, especially if you are currently building a home. If you are thinking about building your custom dream home, you should be aware the shortage of these materials may cause price increases and/or delays in your build. We will start with #10 and work our way down the #1 most difficult building material to get currently.

10. Roofing Materials
13% of home builders are reporting a severe shortage of obtaining roofing materials, while 53% report some sort of shortage. Currently there hasn’t been a dramatic price increase in this area.

Home builders are specifically seeing a shortage in HVAC equipment. HVAC shortages are similar to roofing material shortages as 13% of home builders are reporting a severe shortage and 55% are reporting some shortage.

8. Drywall & Gypsum 
Lumber pricing is on the front end of the build, drywall and gypsum are on the middle part of the build. Builders are currently waiting to see if there will be an increase in drywall prices over the next few weeks. 13% of home builders are reporting a severe shortage of drywall and gypsum with 57% reporting some shortage. Drywall is used in nearly every single build including commercial projects, so this is definitely something that could see price and supply changes soon.

7. Plumbing Fixtures & Fittings
Increasing in shortage, 19% of home builders are experiencing a severe shortage of plumbing fixtures and fittings, while 56% are seeing some shortage. There are multiple factors to this shortage. Homeowners have begun updating their homes while they have been “stuck inside” with the COVID mandates. Changing out fixtures is an easy way to update or refresh your home before selling. Finishes have been discontinued or availability is very low in other finishes. Suppliers are also scaling back on available options.

6. Copper Wiring 
23% of home builders reported a severe shortage of copper wiring and 54% report some sort of shortage. Electricians have been told by suppliers that they are out of smaller spools of wire, causing the electrician to have to purchase larger rolls. This could cause a price increase. Plastic electrical boxes are also low in stock. Copper wiring is a material you definitely want to watch for pricing increases. Copper is an expensive wire to begin with and is also used in some plumbing.

5. Trusses
Trusses are priced separate from lumber. One of the main issues currently with trusses is that it is taking an extended time to receive them. A typical timeline for trusses is about 4 weeks; however, current lead times are now as much as 8 weeks. Suppliers have been busy, there have been shipping issues and some truss plants are still in COVID protocols. 27% of home builders are reporting a severe shortage in trusses and 51% of builders are reporting some shortage.

4. Windows & Doors
These numbers could be skewed some due to lumping windows and doors together. Lumber is a bigger issue than windows at this time. Doors are often custom ordered and could increase delays. 38% of home builders are experiencing a severe shortage and 49% are stating other shortages. Suppliers are also streamlining operations and reducing the number of lines they may carry. If there is a certain window or door style you have to have, Craftmaster Custom Homes recommends ordering as soon as possible.

3. Framing Lumber 
You are shocked this isn’t #1, aren’t you? 47% of home builders are experiencing severe shortages in framing lumber as well as 47% are experiencing some shortages. That’s a total of 94% of builders experiencing shortages. Suppliers are having to purchase blind orders to be able to receive materials. Smaller builders may not be able to get lumber due to larger builders needing more supplies. Many times the suppliers focus on the larger accounts and are unable to fulfill the needs of those smaller builders. Prices are currently very high. They are slowly dropping some, but are expected to be up for a while.

2. OSB
This could be included with framing lumber, but it was separated out. 54% of home builders reported a severe shortage and another 38% reported some shortage. The price of OSB has not dropped at this time. In many areas builders are not able to get the material. The massive freeze in the winter caused a shutdown of a major resin plant in Texas which reduced capacity and manufacturing. Currently home builders are paying about $50 for a 7/16″ sheet of OSB and over $60 for a 1/2″ sheet. This is causing a price increase of several thousand dollars in a build due to the high prices of OSB.

1. Appliances 
Appliances are in a major shortage right now. 57% of home builders are seeing a severe shortage and 38% are seeing some shortage. Appliances today contain lots of electronics and there is a massive shortage of microchips from overseas at this time. There are nearly complete appliances in warehouses across the United States needing a microchip or other type of electronic board before they can be shipped out. Consumers have also increased their purchases of appliances, especially refrigerators. This increase started with COVID and has continued to occur with the fear of another shut down and being prepared to be able to store food in large quantities. Other home owners are remodeling their homes and a great way to update your kitchen is to purchase new appliances. Currently, matching sets are very difficult to obtain. Due to this shortage, you may have to mix brands. This is totally acceptable as most finishes match regardless of the brand and, in all honesty, some brands work better than others for different appliances. If you know you want a certain appliance in a certain brand, Craftmaster Custom Homes recommends you ORDER EARLY!

If you have any questions about building your custom dream home in the Hill Country of New Braunfels or have any other questions please reach out to us! We are always available for a consultation and would love to hear from you!