You don’t need us to tell you these are unprecedented times. COVID, job furloughs, social and political unrest, distance learning, Zoom meetings, product hoarding, and unbelievably a mask debate…all at the same time! Unless you are a hermit living in a cave, it’s impossible to get through the day without hearing, saying, or reading the word COVID numerous times.

This unfortunate virus has intruded on everyone’s lives. No one has not been affected, and that goes for the construction industry as well. Interestingly enough, we are not talking about a significant pause in building homes. On the contrary, the custom home building climate remains quite good. Other than being shut down for a month, we have not experienced many of the hardships other businesses have had to endure. Part of this is most certainly due to the extremely low inventory of homes for sale in our area making this not a buyers-market and a great time to build your own home.

Having said that, rampant virus outbreaks have affected our industry in ways we never saw coming. No doubt you have encountered the lack of certain goods in every store you visit. We too are experiencing product shortages.

When the stay at home order was issued, you couldn’t find a household that wasn’t attempting some sort of home improvement. Because of this, most lumber products went to the big box stores such as Lowes and Home Depot, leaving the wholesaler outfits contractors depend on to order building materials scrambling to be seen and heard.

Every time a lumber mill employee tests positive for COVID, production comes to a screeching halt. The obligatory quarantine period ensues, and that particular product is now delayed for weeks due to a complete mill shut down for decontamination and the lack of virus free employees. To add insult to injury, a significant price increase in lumber has been widely predicted.

When building a home, timing is everything. Scheduling subcontractors and ordering product requires much thought and planning for all jobs. Now throw in COVID and new challenges arise. In normal times, we would have clients pick out certain products such as appliances, plumbing and lighting fixtures, a week or two prior to install. Now we are having to schedule these appointments months in advance to allow amble time for delivery.

These are challenging times, for all of us but a time to stick together, encourage one another, lend helping hands, and show compassion. Let Appleton Homes guide you (from a safe distance) during your home building venture with expertise, encouragement, compassion, and most definitely…a mask!

“The future depends on what you do today.” Mahatma Gandhi

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