We see it, we hear about it, and we feel it in our pocketbooks. Supply chain backups due to workforce shortage and overwhelmed demand, material costs skyrocketing from insufficient raw materials, and economic inflation all point to home improvement costs continuing to rise into 2022.
Hopefully, anyone needing home improvement in this last year has finished or at least started their project.
If you DID finish, then you can attest to our previous blog and thousands of others like it telling you to pull the trigger sooner rather than later because prices are about to skyrocket.
You're probably smiling at yourself, knowing you just dodged the inflated price bullet. The days of waiting for prices to go down are now officially dead for the foreseen future.
So what's causing the continual rise in home projects? If you keep up with world news, then you may know, but let's dive into what is behind these outrageous, ever-growing costs.
It starts at the very beginning. Many people think items like smartphones need to be assembled, packaged, and shipped.
But what makes the pieces needing assembly? What about the aluminum chassis, the PCB boards, the materials for the cardboard boxes to ship them in? How about the metal that needs to go on your roof, or the aluminum for your gutters, and even the minerals and stone for the granules that make up your shingles?
We have received numerous emails from major suppliers telling the same story,
"we have continued to experience ongoing supply chain constraints including significantly reduced raw material availability across nearly all major product categories. In addition, we have been and continue to receive significant raw material and transportation cost increases from our suppliers. Unfortunately, these conditions are expected to remain a challenge throughout 2021 and into 2022."
The price of metals and minerals has blown up since the beginning of 2020 and has only recently seen a slight dip due to the end of the busy summer season.
Market Insider reports lumber has seen a tremendous drop in the market price, dropping from its record high of $1686 per thousand board feet in May to $658.
But don't expect to see that reflected in your local stores anytime soon. Why though? Well, inflated market price aside, there are still significant factors contributing to higher prices.
The world is getting smaller every day. We outsource raw materials from across the globe, which is still recovering from some very debated lockdowns.
So when you have neighbors like Canada with stricter lockdown policies and more liberal payouts for unemployment, it incentivizes workers like loggers and miners to stay home instead of working.
After all, why would you put your life at risk felling trees or blasting quarries when the government is paying you more to stay home?
And this isn't pointing the finger at Canada. Most countries, including the US, have arguably overreached on the lockdown front leading to some serious economic damages.
Well, these have consequences.
No workers → no materials → diminishing supply → demand increase → (finally) price increases because a once common item is now a rarity.
There ya go! I summed it up in one little graphic.
And that's just the material pipeline. We never even got into the nitty-gritty of shipping, repairs, marketing, intermediate partners, and hundreds of other things.
But don't take my word for it. Our suppliers send us more emails like these than we care to get. It's like granny doesn't write us anymore. We just get bills in the mail.
"On June 17, we announced several price increases in a variety of categories, including a notice that our fuel and freight surcharge would increase by $75 to $425 per truckload."
If you are the unfortunate ones that NEED a project completed (like those affected by recent storms in the south), then your best bet is to pull the trigger as soon as possible before the prices continue to rise. Just rip that bandaid off fast. Every week you wait is a price hike.
If your home improvement project is not a necessity, then you could probably wait it out. But it's going to be a long wait.
Economies have ebbs and flow throughout history. Look at the late 1960s leading into the 1970s when the market went to crap. I'm sure everyone thought it was the end of days.
Just give it some time, some good leadership correction, and it will eventually level itself out.
But until that day comes, I encourage people to be smart with their finances, help those in need if you are blessed enough to do so, be an encourager,
2020 was undoubtedly a preposterous year regarding storms... we won't use other words to describe other things. While some think 2021 is off to a decent start (perspective), others living in tornado or hurricane country are in for another doozy with forecasts showing another active storm season for 2021.
Let's cover three things: Tornadoes, Hail, & Hurricanes.
According to Accuweather's 2021 severe weather and tornado forecast, we could be looking at one of the most potent active storm seasons ever if the atmospheric similarities to last year are any indicator. While they are predicting a slow start, they are still expecting a rough go-around this year.
The silver lining for those living near the coast is that you only get a "moderate" severe storm prediction vs. our more northward neighbors, who are unfortunately going to see the brunt of this.
Here, you can read AccuWeather's full meteorological report.
Northern hemisphere jet streams have been displaying a 'wavier' formation in recent years, from which we get these severe cool fronts.
This means the stream is dipping further south, bringing more cold air to regions that generally don't experience it.
Cold, Polar air is introduced to the warm southern air from the tropics forming strong updrafts contributing to tornado formation.
But where you have strong updrafts, you have another weather threat: hail
There is only one way to describe the hail Texas got last month, and that's "Texas-sized hail." Even as far south as Mexico, there was 2" - 4" hail.
That's the kind of stuff Hollywood creates visual effects to increase their shock and awe value. This was real, devastating size hail.
Oklahoma has seen 21 hail events averaging 2.5" hail since 2021 began (and hail season isn't supposed to start until March).
We could go into all of the hail events and the alarming size that is falling, but we would be here quite a while.
This all ties back into that colder air clashing with warm tropical air. That larger size hail typically stays further inland (further away from warm coastal air, which means cooler upper atmosphere).
Due to more extreme fronts, these events are creeping further south because of that jet stream activity we mentioned earlier.
So yes, it is likely to see an increase in the number of hail events and hail size in 2021.
No more! Please! We have had enough.
Between the shortages of building materials, the increase in demand, and all the funny business insurance companies are playing with their homeowners; we're about to switch our company over to weather manipulation research and development.
Dreams of challenging Zeus aside, according to the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, we can expect an above-average number of storms in 2021.
While we aren't talking about doubling the number of storms from last year, they predict we will see (at best) similar numbers and strength, but probably a little more.
Since you are here for a quick read about 2021's active storm season and not the nitty-gritty details, we will spare you the specifics on Sahel Precipitation, Saharan Dust, and El Niño Southern Oscillations contributing to these claims.
But you can hop on over to CSU's forecasting and read up on all the juicy details for yourself if you are into it.
Not to be a bearer of bad news, but buckle up, everyone. This storm season could very well be another bumpy ride.
Stay safe, be wise, and if you are blessed enough not to be affected, then help out where you can. There are plenty of hurting families out there because of unrelenting storms.