What word pops to mind when you think about the past few years? Unprecedented was the buzzword for a while. Volatile definitely applies, and while there are probably a few more colorful words you’d choose, interesting is a good middle ground.
Industries experienced disruptions in staffing and supply lines that we haven’t seen in decades. Through the tumultuous changing tides, construction companies held their ground. Your business did as well, and you need to start a new construction project soon.
Even after all we’ve experienced as a society, there’s a new storm looming on the horizon — and, like interesting, it also starts with an “i.”
Inflation and its effects are gaining traction in the news, in polite conversation, and probably in your bank account. And it’s breeding panic. You can’t stop business, however, and your business may still be growing, or need a new location, or you just need major renovations. What can you do to support your business and not give in to the hysteria?
Well, you’re in the right place. We’ve got some tips to help you get through this, but first, let’s look at exactly what’s going on in construction.
How Inflation is Affecting Construction
In February of this year, the Associated General Contractors of America reported that the producer price index for construction was an amazingly high 19.6% for 2021. That means contractors paid 19.6% more for construction materials in 2021 than in the previous year.
To put that in perspective, 2019 had actually seen a 1.8% drop in prices, and 2020 only saw a 4.4% increase. In contrast, Deloitte, one of the biggest accounting firms in the world, notes a strong 2022 for construction companies and a great outlook for 2023. Construction projects are steadily increasing in number, despite the increase in supply prices.
That makes sense. Your business is growing, or your old building needs renovations or a new roof — the need for construction continues, regardless of product prices. How can you prepare for inflation’s effect on your next healthcare, commercial, industrial, food processing, or any other type of construction project?
- Planning Early
- Be Adaptable and Versatile
- Use Sustainably Sourced, Energy-Efficient Building Components
If you fail to plan, you should plan to fail. Some people act on the spur of the moment: they realize their business needs a general contractor and they want the work completed yesterday. We can move mountains and make amazing things happen (and safely, too), but quickly is often a thing of the past.
Anticipating your business needs and contacting your trusted construction company early has several benefits:
- A higher chance of securing your ideal materials
- We can forecast construction issues
- Your construction team can plan project purchases when the timing is best
Rarely does an owner or client come to us with a blank check for a construction project. Value engineering uses all our years of experience, up-to-date industry knowledge, and an experienced team to create the best outcome.
You can’t rush greatness, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and contacting your construction team early will help you plan and prepare for a successful and satisfying building experience.
Be Adaptable and Versatile
As we talked about in our blog, 10 Most Popular Green Building Techniques, a good construction company will know about materials and ideas you may not have considered before (take a look at mycelium in the list for an example of a truly interesting building innovation). Being “adaptable and versatile” goes further than that though.
Constantly fluctuating supplies are just a part of life — this is where you need to select a construction company you can trust. Your contracted builder has industry connections and knowledge that help them prepare and plan for an ever-changing situation.
For example, GALBRAITH’s decades of construction experience means we’ve been working with suppliers, subcontractors, and other construction professionals for years, sometimes decades. We will be able to give you honest, accurate, and data-driven recommendations and timelines.
Maybe you’ve dreamed of a certain type of mechanized hangar door, but the supplier just isn’t able to fill your order. We leverage our relationships and knowledge to find the next best option. With our reputation at stake, you know we’re giving you an honest assessment.
Use Sustainably Sourced, Energy-Efficient Building Components
The materials used in your project, how they are sourced, and their current prices greatly affect the overall cost of construction. Inflation is affecting all areas of life, and 90% of a building’s costs happen after construction is complete. You and your contractor can plan ahead to help your business face these challenges.
Wood is a traditional construction material, and some proponents claim that it is a safe, sustainable building material. As Time reports, however, the over-reliance on wood in the U.S. has led to supremely high lumber prices and young forests that are unable to remove as much carbon as the harvested mature forests they replaced.
That stands in stark contrast to steel buildings. The recycling rate of structural steel is over 98%, and 95% of the water used in making steel is also recycled. Steel can be recycled over and over. Also, over the past 30 years, the steel industry has worked hard to reduce emissions and its carbon footprint by over 30%.
Builders used to cite steel’s higher initial cost as a reason to consider wood, but that cost difference has closed, and steel prices are continuing to drop. Regardless of that, there is still operating maintenance and costs to consider.
Steel buildings and building systems do not get termites, do not warp and change with water damage, and won’t rot. A metal roofing system, like the Butler® MR-24® for example, can even have over 50 years of consistent performance.
Steel building systems are also extremely energy-efficient — green building is important for your maintenance costs down the line. Choosing finishes that increase UV reflection can decrease the amount of energy it takes to cool a building by up to 30%. This is exceedingly important as, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, energy prices will continue to rise.
Why Choose GALBRAITH Pre-Design, Inc.?
At GALBRAITH, we focus on sustainable construction. Our experienced project managers guide each job under their watch to the highest levels of quality, safety, and client satisfaction.
From food processing to our expert concrete division, we have developed systems and a team that provides the absolute best outcome for our clients. We’ve built in 18 different states, and continuously work to maintain specific certifications for specialized healthcare facilities, food handling regulations, safety, and others to offer our clients the absolute best in services.