Apartment Construction Demands High; Pitfalls Deep

Apartment Construction Demands High; Pitfalls Deep

When people realized they could work anywhere, the stampede from downtown offices was epic. And not only did “anywhere” mean nearby city suburbs, for many it meant anywhere warm. Anywhere fun. Anywhere their kids could get a great education. Anywhere. Apartment construction went beyond lucrative to high-demand, especially in the South.

Strategies To Stay Ahead of Apartment Construction Challenges

…Our company’s multifamily volume quadrupled between 2019-2021.
Ripley Bickerstaff, Hoar Construction

Fueled by demographic shifts from the North to the South, the multifamily housing market is on fire. But the supply chain unraveled and material prices left town. “If builders don’t have processes in place to navigate recent price hikes and supply chain challenges,” says Ripley Bickerstaff of Hoar Construction, “a project can sink as black turns to red on the balance sheet.”

He shared some of his company’s strategies to stay on top of volatile apartment construction situations:

Verify what you ordered and its shipment in person. Bickerstaff’s company sent teams to warehouses for in-person verifications. It made a difference. Ensuring the hardware, etc. works as planned means corrections can be made real-time. It’s no longer enough to order, wait too long for components, and assume they work.

Buy appliances, components, and materials as early as possible. General contractors need to work with the design team before the drawings. They need to understand what’s available, what isn’t, and affordable options for expensive parts and materials. Consider alternative materials and look to domestic, North American products.

Hoarding is no longer a bad word. If you can secure materials at lower prices, warehousing them saves money. It’s difficult, but if you can predict shortages, buy what you don’t need for later. Bickerstaff said they stocked up on toilet accessories and flex ducts, which are currently in short supply.

Lock-in skilled labor. Get subcontractors to commit the best people they have as much or more than a year before construction begins.

Hoping for the best but planning for the worst is good business. We believe planning to grow and increase profits is even better. To learn ways to maximize your construction business potential, contact Construction Monitor.

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