Shortages of lumber, glass, copper and more impacting construction

Nathan Law

Kendall Gardepe called her husband at work one day to tell him they were building a house in Annville, and by the way, she had already put down money for a lot. They’d been through the wringer trying to find a house already on the market, so his answer was easy: […]

Kendall Gardepe called her husband at work one day to tell him they were building a house in Annville, and by the way, she had already put down money for a lot.

They’d been through the wringer trying to find a house already on the market, so his answer was easy: “OK.” With a high demand for pre-existing homes, prices are being bid above – sometimes far above – their value. 

“I decided we’re not playing this game,” said Gardepe, a mother of two young girls. “I couldn’t handle the emotional roller coaster of buying a house right now.”

So, in the fall, the Gardepes entered another wildly busy market: housing construction. Despite lumber and other significant shortages hitting home builders today, the Gardepes original mid-June closing date has shifted only a few weeks later because of the windows.

A glass shortage across the country is just one of several shortages affecting construction as well as prices for new homes. But those aren’t the only shortages. 

Kendall and Chris Gardepe gave up the battle with other buyers for an existing home because it was a roller coaster. Here, they're with daughters Adisyn (front) and Grace. They're nearly finished home is in an Annville neighborhood in Lebanon County. While their closing date was delayed because of material shortages, they're pretty close to the target date.

A slew of shortages

“The material shortage issue has shot to the top of the charts, if you will. It has been there since at least last fall, said Dan Durden, chief executive officer of the Pennsylvania Builders Association.

“It’s not just that prices are going up; it’s how quickly they’re going up, and nothing’s coming down,” he said. “And it’s not just the case that the item – particularly lumber – is so high, but that you can’t get it, no matter what you’re willing to pay.”

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