As June comes along, most contractors get busier with new jobs. However, you should still find time to stay-up to-date on the latest industry trends. To help, we’ve rounded up some of the top headlines for you.
Busy season is here but reports are showing that the warmer winter has already given contractors the opportunity to get more business. And depending on your trade, there are a few new regulations that can benefit you. See a few of our top spring and summer headlines to help prepare you for summer.
Are you looking to grow your business this summer? Give us a call at 866-456-6977 to start receiving leads you want in your area today!
National Housing Starts Down
In the latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, housing starts are down 6.8% nationally from February, but still above March 2016 housing starts by about 9.2%.
Some attribute this to the warmer winter allowing housing starts to begin sooner than predicted. Due to a mild winter, some projects were started in January and February, allowing workers to get a head start.
The same is true for the remodeling business. The National Association of Home Builders Remodeling Market Index showed a 58% increase in activity starting in the first quarter. For remodeling contractors throughout the country, this is good news, meaning business has remained steady and will continue throughout the summer.
The Skilled Labor Shortage Continues
Though reports show that there is plenty of work available, the growing concern throughout all trades is the lack of skilled workers to get the job done. Last year, we reported on what you should know about the skilled labor shortage and how it’s impacting the construction industry. In some areas, this shortage is hitting harder than others. Areas such as Dallas are seeing it impact their housing market, with the Dallas News reporting an increase in home building costs and long delays in building times.
Industry pros are still examining the causes of this shortage. A recent survey from the National Association Of Home Builders show that younger workers, between the ages of 18 and 25, see skilled labor as a good paying job where they’d learn useful skills. However, the findings also show that 48% believe the jobs are too physically demanding and 32% believe that the work is too difficult. These factors, regardless of pay, are driving the young workforce away from the construction industry.
As experts continue to explore the causes of this shortage, there are ways you can help in your community. Here are a few ideas:
- Mentor your younger employees.
- Brush up on your leadership techniques.
- Network with those in your community and share about your career.
Pros Get A Break From The Heat
Summer weather is hot and working in it can make the work seem even harder, as well as dangerous. Texas has taken notice to the dangers that it poses for construction workers. Texas senators have proposed new legislature requiring mandatory rest breaks for every four hours of work. It will be joining 12 other states that already have similar laws in place.
If your state doesn’t have regulations yet, be sure to know safety precautions others are using during the hotter months, including taking short breaks. Dehydration and over-exertion can lead to heat stroke, damaging organs and risking death. Here are some signs of heat stroke:
- Intense Headache
- Muscle Weakness & Cramping
- Shortness Of Breath
If you notice any of these symptoms while you’re working, stop what you’re doing immediately, rest and rehydrate. Find a place to cool off. For severe symptoms, call 911.
New Laws May Change Window & Door Business
Changes in politics often create changes within the construction industry. At the risk of potential 2018 federal budget cuts, programs and industries throughout the country are looking at the possible impact it could have on their business. For window and door pros, they need to be aware that Energy Star, a frequent certifier of energy-efficient windows, has possible budget cuts heading its way. This could change the way some window and door pros do business. Window & Door magazine recently published and editorial of what the industry would look like without Energy Star; you can read it here.
Though this change directly impacts the window and door industry, there could be changes coming your way. Keep up-to-date with industry news to see how your window and door business might change.
There are busy months ahead for contractors and the remodeling forecast is good. There could be changes ahead for all trades in new rules and regulations. Keep an eye on industry news headlines as the summer progresses to see what may affect you.
As always, if you want to ensure more business for the rest of 2017, give us a call at 866-456-6977 to start receiving quality leads today!