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CONSTRUCTION AND RENOVATION
The “tricks” lie in planning ahead.

With the cost of materials, labour shortages and delays, is it still possible to complete a renovation or construction project, in Quebec, in 2021?

Well, it seems so, with caveats.

The secret is in the planning, and building in flexibility. How flexible are you willing to be?
The two main issues you will adjust to are the cost of materials, and the slightly chaotic labour market. It is imperative to be well-organized before embarking on any major project. The degree to which you build a stable and solid planning “foundation”, is the degree to which you will withstand the predictably unpredictable “gusts” that will come as your structure rises on your plan.

After a very substantial climb, at the beginning of the summer, the price of lumber is finally backing down.
The price of lumber on the Chicago Materials Exchange was $1,686 in early May, 2021. Now, in August, 2021 trading is holding more reasonably around $500.
Production in Québec is back to optimal levels.
However, we are already starting to see companies reduce their production in order to counter a possible catastrophic drop in the price of wood, through oversupply. Fortunately, this phenomenon is mostly observed in British Columbia at the moment, and is not projected to reach Québec. We are no longer facing a fear of a possible wood shortage, and even if the cost of wood supply is down, this is not necessarily reflected in retail prices. In fact, the wood in stores was purchased at a high price, and by lowering the posted prices, retailers would be selling at a loss.
To be anticipated: Some volatility in wood prices over the next few months, and possibly a year or two of further adjustments and fluctuations.

In addition, the problem of the labour shortage in Québec remains.
There is a shortage of nearly 25,000 employees in the construction industry, and this situation is not looking to come to a resolution in the short term. The lack of workers, in addition to delays in the supply of construction materials, are two problems that have led, and will continue to lead to, significant delays in the delivery of various projects. Delays are accumulating, and are affecting future projects. To make matters more complicated, the number of construction projects is at its highest point in nearly thirty years!

In short: Despite the glitches that can be encountered along the way, it seems that more than ever, planning is the best way to carry out any construction or renovation project.

With a reasonable time frame, and some flexibility in the budgeting and scheduling, it is always possible to start a construction or renovation project without necessarily being buffeted by external factors.

Ask a member of our team for any further advice, and specific consultation. We are always available with our accumulated experience, and knowledge of Montréal, and the Sud-Ouest.

Sources:
La Presse, “La baisse de production dans l’Ouest fait redouter une hausse des prix”, Martin Vallières, 27/08/2021
La Presse, “Les rabais chez les commerçants risquent d’attendre”, Martin Vallières, 31/07/2021
La Presse, “Des retards et des hausses de prix inévitables”, André Dubuc, 26/04/2021
Le Devoir, “Que faire de la pénurie de main-d’oeuvre?”, Brian Myles, 05/08/2021

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