SWFL construction faces further delays due to material shortage

Reporter: Dannielle Garcia Writer: Joey Pellegrino
The kind of construction materials in short supply due to winter storms shutting down factories. Credit: WINK News

New home builds are facing another round of major delays, but not because of the pandemic; U.S. factories that make things like PVC pipe, latex and metals were shut down for weeks during winter storms.

Joseph Cimilluca, contractor and division director with Stevens Construction in Fort Myers, says residential construction is impacted the most. But even a few commercial projects—like a Lee Health building that he bid on last year—are affected, because even though the company secures funding, at that point the contractor has to come back with a new increased price for materials.

“Rescheduling the trade set them into kind of an issue where they thought they were working this week, and maybe they have to reschedule it until next week,” Cimilluca said. “And it’s unfortunate that this could cause a lot of people to lose, you know, whether they lose their job or decrease in pay, or maybe can’t accomplish as many projects.”

This industry already saw delays from COVID-19 lockdowns, but Cimilluca says this is worse. The products that make plastic, and things like hair clips and even paint, are rare.
Something like a PVC pipe, which would usually cost $16, now costs $100.

“This is just another thing on top of all that,” Cimilluca said. “It’s very difficult for all of us contractors to deal with, and also to bring to the families and people who are involved with the projects that there may be a price increase, there may be a dela,y and a lot of people don’t wanna hear that.”

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