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Supply-chain issues leaving new homes, remodels with long waits for windows

Published: Feb. 7, 2022 at 6:17 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Whether you’re planning to build a new house or are just looking to do some renovations, if new windows are involved experts say you’re going to have to be patient.

It’s a hurt all local builders and contractors are feeling, but a problem all of them say they never thought they would see.

“We’ll order a product, we’ll even put a deposit on it and all of a sudden it’s just not there. Sometimes we adjust the schedule, other times we pick a different product,” Benjamin Anderson, owner of Benjamin Custom Homes said.

It started with lumber shortages back in 2020, and has now bled into windows— A product that used to only take a couple weeks to land on your doorstep.

“If it was just a normal, white vinyl window and you had a couple you were looking to replace in the home, we’d order it that week and we’d probably have it in by the beginning of next month.” Corey Janes with Window World of Fargo said.

Now that wait is anywhere between 16 and 25 weeks!

“It’s definitely a tough thing to break to people,” Janes said.

“We have to order windows before we even break ground. It’s interesting, it takes us less time for us to build the house practically than it does for them to make the windows,” Anderson said.

Anderson adds the delays with windows and other building materials are causing more set backs in the building process. He says the average home now takes two months longer to complete than it did pre-covid times, which means fewer new projects companies like his can take on.

“And that’s something we’ve never seen before,” Anderson said. “The more that there’s manufacturing involved with the product, the more likely that the costs are going to be ramped up and the more likely that the wait times are going to be longer.”

Both Anderson and Janes say they’re optimistic this won’t always be the reality, however, as to when they might see light at the end of this tunnel? It’s still too soon to say.

“I’d like to think that we would see it catch up pretty soon, but I guess we will wait and see,” Janes said.

Both men say a shortage of labor is also a cause for the many delays in the industry and encourage young people to think about a career in the trades.

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