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High demand for Ida rebuilding supplies; some products are hard to get

Homeowners asked to be patient
Roofing supply issues
Roofing supply issues
Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 7:12 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 21, 2021 at 7:48 PM CDT
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A roof damaged by Hurricane Ida.
A roof damaged by Hurricane Ida.(WVUE)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Advanced Building Products on Jefferson Highway sells materials for building exteriors and because of Hurricane Ida, it has been extra busy.

Barry Brack is Operations Supervisor at Advanced Building Products and has been with the company for almost two decades.

“At Advanced we do everything for your exterior needs, windows, columns, gutter material, roofing material, fiberglass, fiber cement, vinyl siding, patio covers, just about everything for the exterior needs,” said Brack.

He was asked about the demand for products in the nearly two months since Ida hit southeast Louisiana.

“Incredible. Supply, we’re having a hard time getting supply and the demand has been three times as much as normal,” said Brack. “We’re all pulling six and seven days a week and it’s just non-stop.”

Many roofs were damaged or destroyed by Ida’s powerful winds and Brack says roofing materials are in high demand.

“Shingles. Everybody’s looking for shingles, everybody needs a roof. The problem is, they’re not producing colors, they’re not, you know, producing the right colors that people want, they’re not getting them to us fast enough. They’re blaming it on COVID, they’re blaming it on supply issues,” said Brack.

Dan Mills is CEO of the Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans.

“Of course, there’s huge demand and one of the feedback that we get is price, you know, housing affordability is a huge issue, and supply chain aspects are a critical component as well,” said Mills.

He talked about costs for shingles.

“So, we’ve been seeing, you know, a price of $26 would be a bulk price for a square and now we’re looking at no bulk price offerings at all and they’re running about $37 to $38 a square and that’s just raw material,” said Mills.

And he said wood is much pricier.

“We’re looking at a 20% increase on average for all types of building supplies, probably the most, the biggest one is the wood, so we’ve been talking about wood, and OSB cost has just been through the roof. It peaked at $1,500 per thousand linear feet but it’s come back down to around $600 but we’re seeing an increase again, so those are big issues for us,” said Mills.

And given the demand and supply chain problems property owners with hurricane damage are asked to be patient.

“My advice would be make sure your roof’s not leaking, have your contractor watertight it, pick your color, get them to place the order, and just hang on. Patience is a big virtue right now,” said Brack.

Mills agrees.

Absolutely. We have a lot of people that are trying to work on the issue, and we want to make sure that repairs are made safe and that licensed contractors are used,” Mills stated.

Brack added, “I think a lot of it is the supply chain issue, some of it could possibly be because people did not go back to work after things shut down from COVID and they were getting that extra money from the government.”

Mills recommends consumers use licensed contractors and he says to call the HBA if you have questions.

“Beware of people that want cash upfront and beware of people that want to do repairs without a contract and without an agreement and if you ever have a question feel free to call the Homebuilders Association of Greater New Orleans.”

And he discussed what is reasonable as a down payment.

“In most cases, it would be reasonable for up to a 50% deposit on the repair. This allows the contractor to address the building supply issue and get those things in place, but they should be completing the project and bring that up to your approval level before you’re completing that out,” said Mills.

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