Remodeling: Labor shortage creates frustration and adds time

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) – June 12, 2019 – Lynn Osborne has been remodeling two homes. They are different styles, in different states, with different contractors. But there has been one constant: delays due to a shortage of skilled labor.

The two-year remodel of her primary home in Fort Collins was to update and upgrade the ’90s house, and it included a small extension. It was completed last year, except for the landscaping, which is still under way.

That general contractor relied heavily on sub-contractors, she said, and sometimes they wouldn’t show, or would arrive days late, or did shoddy work and were fired.

Her remodel of an old family beach retreat in New England took a Sears kit home down to the studs. The completion date was June 2018, but it’s still not done because the contractor, who has been doing most of the work himself, is stretched and inattentive.

“He’d say, ‘I’ll be out there next week,’ and next week would turn into next month, and next month would be six months,” she said.

Current estimates indicate there are about 300,000 unfilled jobs in the construction industry, and the industry is expected to need an additional 747,000 workers by 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Source:  Copyright 2019 The Associated Press, Karen Schwartz. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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