Choosing a Contractor During the Pandemic

Choosing a Contractor During the Pandemic

Choosing a Contractor During the Pandemic

Since the beginning of 2020, the construction industry has felt a pinch from all areas. Lack of laborers, price increases, and supply line issues have continued into 2022, and the fencing industry is no stranger to these tribulations. Paramount Fencing has heard increasing concerns from Central Florida consumers in the past 16 months, so we set out with a question: With the global economy seemingly opening back up, why are contractors spiking prices?

First, the lack of trained laborers in the current market is definitely causing issues. As with any crisis, many handy “men in a truck” pop up. This is commonly seen around natural disasters, and we have seen an increase in handymen throughout the pandemic. A truly licensed handyman is not to blame, but the unlicensed and uninsured handymen flooding the market now are causing issues for many homeowners across the country. Many of these individuals will continue to charge market-rate pricing for subpar work. Individuals without a legal company also may not have access to higher-quality building materials, resulting in homeowners paying a large premium on Home Depot grade material. The lack of liability insurance that comes along with hiring an unlicensed handyman is also dangerous for the homeowner. Many times, these home improvement projects are completed without proper permits being pulled, resulting in headaches and legal issues for a homeowner in the long run.

Material shortages are also causing issues. According to Insider, 90% of contractors have cited having issues securing necessary building materials to complete their contracts during 2021. The slow has caused a massive backlog of projects for many contractors, putting them into a financial pinch, which then funnels down to the consumer. The spike in building material prices has forced contractors to raise their prices, which trickles down as well. Comparing lumber prices to the beginning of the pandemic, prices were up an average of 377% according to Yahoo Business during the peak of summer 2021. Pressure-treated lumber is currently the most difficult building material to secure, with prices lower than they were 6 months ago, but slowly creeping back up. Trends show the summer months to have the highest prices.

Currently, both The US and Canada are facing a shortage of truckers, with truck drivers actively protesting in Canada. Unfortunately, a large amount of pressure-treated lumber available in the American market is supplied by Canada. 83% of softwood is supplied by Canada, with a total of 25% of total lumber being supplied by our Northern neighbor. November of 2021 also saw the duty on Canadian lumber increase to 17.9%, twice what it once was.
All of these issues seem to be the cause for a perfect storm, a storm that is currently wreaking havoc on all homeowners. But how can a consumer protect themselves?

First, custom or stick-built contractors are unable to complete a fence the week after a contract is signed. Companies who have such a quick turnaround are cutting a corner somewhere, regardless of if it’s on the administrative or installation side. Understand, in the state of Florida, if a post goes in the ground a permit will need to be pulled. If a property has a pool, a permit must be pulled, and that fence must be installed to be pool code compliant. Permit turn-around time varies by municipality, but from the time of application to approval, the average is about 10 days. Protect yourself and be sure that the company or handyman you hire has an approved permit prior to installation. NEVER START INSTALLATION WITHOUT A PERMIT.

A popular aluminum manufacturer, AlumiGuard, is reporting lead times of up to 23 weeks on production orders. If you are quoted with a shorter delivery date, ask who the manufacturer is. Never allow material to be installed without knowing the manufacturer’s name and if there is a warranty on the product. A reputable company using quality materials will have no problem providing this information.

Homeowners purchasing wood fences are urged to check lumber prices before committing to a contract. Many handymen and new companies are popping up charging top-dollar for sub-par pre-fabricated panels. Always ask the installation method being used to avoid being overcharged on your new installation. Understand the wood fence building methods before installing a fence that will only last you a few years.

Paramount Fencing understands that contractors have been hard to come by all throughout COVID thanks to the severe labor shortages and material delays, but we don’t want to see Central Florida consumers get burned by a company.
For a free estimate or even just updated information on the fencing industry, give us a call. 407-341-2720

The Fencing Industry – Material and Labor Shortages

The Fencing Industry – Material and Labor Shortages

Material and Labor Shortages in the Fencing Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to put stress on the construction industry, and the fencing industry is no exception. Soaring lumber, vinyl, and aluminum prices have held many off on projects for the past year, but homeowners are finding themselves now needing these projects completed.

Waiting periods for completion are growing longer and longer due to both material and labor shortages. Vinyl and aluminum manufacturers are finding the demand hard to keep up with many plants still closed, short-staffed, or working on limited capacity.

At Paramount, it’s important to us that our customers, and any other Central Florida consumer, are educated and understand the current situation facing the construction industry.

With many homeowner’s trying to complete jobs quickly, there has become an influx of new fence companies advertising high prices with quicker installs. Remember, a higher cost does not equal higher quality. Many of these installers are using materials purchased from common home improvement stores. Pre-fabricated panels are being marketed and sold at a high mark-up and advertised to customers as higher-quality than they really are. Not everything is as it looks.

Paramount Fencing uses high-quality fencing materials, coming from Homeland Vinyl and AlumiGuard. Both of these US manufactured companies are experiencing 12+ week lead times, but are worth the cost advertised. Be sure to do your research on the materials being installed in your yard before committing to a fence company. Ask, and if you don’t get a straight answer, ask again. It is a red flag if your new material does not come with a manufacturer name or a manufacturer’s warranty.

Understand the labor shortages right now are also a big strain on the industry. Fencing projects are taking longer to complete- it is hard to find skilled laborers. Don’t pay the price of a custom contractor when who has been hired is a handyman.

Paramount Fencing uses skilled contractors who have been trained to build your fence systems piece-by-piece, not just putting panels in the ground. Do your research when it comes to labor costs before committing to a fence company.

We understand that these are unprecedented times and that the material cost increases may keep going. We are unsure of what the future holds, but we at Paramount stand behind what we do. Our number one goal is to educate the consumer and keep them in the know about what’s going on in our industry. We strive to bring excellence in all areas of our work, from the administrative back-end processes to installation.

Paramount Fencing is here as a resource for all Central Florida fence customers. Give us a call and see what all the talk is about.

For a free estimate, call 407-341-2720

Pressure Washing 101

Pressure Washing 101

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Mauris bibendum bibendum elit, eget lobortis sem maximus id. Nullam ac arcu vitae sapien accumsan commodo eget eu felis. Vestibulum sagittis vitae velit quis cursus. Fusce non tortor sagittis, sollicitudin ipsum eget, lobortis libero. Aliquam ac tellus non est tristique convallis et at nunc. Fusce id massa quis erat tincidunt hendrerit. Maecenas ut mauris id ipsum bibendum posuere. Sed non enim metus. Phasellus sagittis porta ante. Vivamus pharetra justo sed ipsum aliquet laoreet. Suspendisse id lacinia arcu, eu laoreet quam. Curabitur at mauris dui. Aenean a lectus purus. Nulla porttitor ornare urna et molestie. Pellentesque vitae bibendum neque, non pharetra justo. Nulla non ipsum metus.

Sed vel sem lacinia mauris consequat congue non at urna. Donec nibh augue, dignissim vitae lobortis eu, finibus pretium nisi. Vivamus eleifend auctor hendrerit. Sed id maximus justo, nec dignissim neque. Etiam pretium massa orci, vitae eleifend turpis tempor eget. Quisque porta eleifend ornare. Vestibulum aliquet eros id finibus euismod. Cras fermentum, urna eget vestibulum mattis, turpis nulla viverra lacus, ultrices condimentum magna augue vel diam. Morbi vitae efficitur ipsum, vel rhoncus sapien. Vestibulum vel nibh a nisi posuere iaculis. Sed placerat mauris eu nisi feugiat fermentum.

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