Construction companies across the U.S. are facing delays because of brick shortages. The Federation of Master Builders reported that most companies are waiting two months for their orders while some are waiting as long as six to eight months. This is bad news for construction companies that are trying to stay on schedule with their builds. It’s a particular problem for small home building companies that get overlooked by large firms that order larger quantities of brick. The problem isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, either.
Chief Executive Officer of the Federation of Master Builders, Brian Berry, said, “The brick manufacturers are working hard to reignite their kilns which were mothballed during the recession.” The brick industry works on a supply vs demand model, and they slowed down production because construction companies were not buying as much brick between 2007 and 2012. Now, the brick companies are still trying to catch up to the fast pace of construction companies in 2015 who have more than doubled their business.
Brick companies are trying to hire more employees, but it’s hard to find candidates that have the type of experience needed to work the kilns and run logistics Additionally, construction companies have noticed a shortage in the number of bricklayers and masons, complicating the problem further. More apprenticeship funding and standards are needed to get the industry caught up, but this will take time and cooperation from the government.
The Federation of Master Builders is also predicting that the cost of brick and other building materials are going to skyrocket in the coming years because of the high demand and small inventory. That will put thwarts in many peoples’ plans to build new homes or take on construction projects, particularly if they involve brick and other masonry.