The construction industry has experienced a number of changes over the past few months as it has adjusted to the new reality of working through the coronavirus pandemic. By many accounts, the industry has continued to prosper, buoyed by strong sales to the DIY consumer and home builders erecting new homes to meet rising demand for their residences. However, for many industry participants, the question is: will these changes persist after the coronavirus fades?
A pair of articles indicates that many of the changes the industry is undergoing may be permanent.
One article highlighted the rising interest among home builders in using prefabricated building components, such as roof trusses, open and closed wall panels, and pre-assembled flooring. Use of these products can help alleviate many of the issues faced by builders during the coronavirus pandemic, such as:
- Higher costs for lumber – rather than purchase lumber (at prices that vary frequently), builders can purchase prefabricated components at listed prices as needed.
- Worker shortages (caused by absenteeism among employees concerned about contracting COVD-19) – fewer workers are needed to install prefabricated components than to construction these systems at a job site.
- Slowdowns in productivity due to the need to maintain social distancing at work sites – not only are fewer workers needed to install prefabricated components, but builders can schedule the delivery of these products as needed.
Another article reports that DIY activity – which has surged over the past few months – is expected to continue to remain strong in the next year and beyond. Many homeowners – having found it easier or less expensive to undertake home improvement and repair projects in the early stages of the pandemic – will continue to do. Furthermore, as lumber prices are expected to remain high over the next few months, many consumers may do their own repair projects to reduce expenses.
For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, particularly in the Construction and Building Products. Freedonia also offers an expanding catalog of COVID-19 Economic Impact reports, which highlight how various industries are responding to the current crisis with a comparison to recent recessions. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.