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Builders struggle to finish homes amid continuing supply bottlenecks

Doors, windows, and garage doors are hard to find

Building a home concept
Photo (c) Dan Reynolds Photography - Getty Images
Because of supply chain bottlenecks, home builders are struggling to finish homes because they can’t get all the materials they need.

The shortage has been magnified because builders have significantly increased production in the last 12 months. As a result, the Wall Street Journal reports that there have been cases in which people have moved into unfinished homes that may lack gutters or garage doors.

Some builders have been forced to suspend sales in some of the nation’s most active housing markets as they wait for supplies of home building materials to catch up with demand.

These same issues, to a lesser extent, are affecting home remodeling companies. In a ConsumerAffairs review, Becky of Windsor, Colo., said she ordered new windows from Champion Windows and Home Exteriors last March.

“Some of our windows were finally installed mid-September 2021,” Becky wrote last month. “We have tried to get a response as to when we will get our other windows and front door, promises that the GM would contact us multiple times, never has happened.”

A spokesman for Champion Customer Care responded to Becky’s post, apologizing for the delay and telling her the company is working through its supply chain issues.

“We are working with our factory and your local Champion office to get an update on your order and will be in touch with you as soon as possible to complete your installation,” the company said.

Problems began with the pandemic

According to the Journal report, the building and remodeling industry’s persisting supply chain issues are largely rooted in the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the start of the pandemic, outbreaks of the virus have closed entire factories and limited transportation options. Building materials have to compete with other consumer products that have overwhelmed ports for nearly a year and a half.

Executives at one builder – Homes by WestBay LLC in Riverview, Fla. – say their company has begun to order the windows for new homes six months in advance, giving themselves three times the lead time that was normal before the pandemic.

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