Home Improvement Research Institute

The labor shortage continues to plague the construction industry, and the outlook for progress is bleak. Last November, the NAHB wondered whether the shortage had reached a "crisis" status, even as the remodeling index went up.

A survey of remodelers last quarter for the Home Improvement Research Institute now confirms that sentiment.

According to the report, 70% of remodelers say they are experiencing a labor shortage. Additionally, 33% of firms are experiencing delays by an average of 3.9 weeks for new projects. The average delay across the home improvement industry was no more than three weeks, according to the survey, which was managed by The Farnsworth Group.

Lack of skilled labor, lack of interest, and large increases in project demands are fueling this shortage. A reported 9% of remodeling firms are turning down work due to these factors.

To address these labor challenges, companies are looking to find more workers. The majority of remodelers (79%) say they rely on referrals from friends and families for new employees. Job/Company websites are used 29% of the time, while printed materials and job fairs are used about 16% of the time.

Fifty-six percent of exterior contractors reported a labor shortage, considerably less than remodelers. They also reported delays due to labor, but only by an average of 2.8 weeks as opposed to 3.9.