CAM Releases the Building Michigan Podcast, Episode 3
CAM examines rising material costs and future expectations with four of Michigan's largest building material suppliers
Bloomfield Hills, MI (June 25, 2021) – Episode #3 of the Construction Association of Michigan’s “Building Michigan” podcast series focuses on rising material costs and factors impacting supply chain and timely delivery of building materials. There are two parts to this podcast: Segment 1 of the podcast addresses plumbing and electrical materials. In it, CAM President Kevin Koehler interviews Jay Hults, President of Progressive Plumbing Supply, Doug Bemis, CEO of Caniff Electric Supply, and Marcel Done, Purchasing Specialist at Caniff Electric Supply. Segment 2 continues the conversation with Bill Gutherie, Vice President of Gutherie Lumber, and Rob Hoffman, President & COO of Wimsatt Building Materials.
During Segment 1, Hults shares multiple examples of rising material costs in the plumbing supply industry. In 25 years of business, he has never seen this unique combination of circumstances, including unpredictable weather in the Gulf, the pandemic, and supply chain issues, which are negatively impacting the pipeline. Since January, Hults has observed a 24% increase in the cost of water heaters, and the price of plastic pipe and fittings has tripled. Copper and steel pipe prices are also up.
A similar trend in the electrical industry is discussed with Doug Bemis and Marcel Done of Caniff Electric Supply. Done, a commodities buyer with 45 years of industry experience, comments: “In the past, one or two price increases per year (approx. 3% at a time) were a normal part of doing business. However, in the last nine months, we’ve had upwards of seven increases, ranging from 6% to 12% each time,” explains Done. “Copper wire has doubled in price in the last six months, and PVC has tripled. It has made it extremely difficult for contractors to anticipate how much to buy to protect customers from the quickly rising costs.” Caniff has leveraged relationships with its longtime customers and encouraged them to pre-purchase a significant amount of material in advance of price increases to keep costs down. Bemis and Doan predict ongoing volatility in the material market until the second quarter of 2022.
During Segment 2 of this podcast, Koehler looks at trends in the lumber, roofing, and other building supplies with Bill Gutherie, of Gutherie Lumber, and Rob Hoffman, of Wimsatt Building Materials. The gentlemen discuss the reasons behind the record-high material costs, and explore how the pandemic and supply chain issues have impacted the situation. They talk about current and future building costs, and predict that prices will slowly start dropping. Gutherie says, “We’re already seeing some signs of a market change...I predict that lumber and pallet prices will begin to fall off in the next few months. And as we go into the winter months, we’re going to see it fall off faster, and more.” Hoffman is of course seeing all-time highs as well, upwards of 100% for some products, but he feels that the real issue is supply, and that the cost of building materials will only normalize when the supply catches up with the demand for the materials.
Listen to this hot topic conversation and all of CAM’s “Building Michigan” podcast episodes at buildwithcam.com/podcast or on your favorite podcast platform.
Contact email@example.com for podcast sponsorship opportunities or with suggestions for future podcast topics. Each episode of the “Building Michigan” podcast, produced for Michigan’s construction industry by the Construction Association of Michigan, and sponsored by Priority Health, features current news and information regarding the latest construction techniques, methods and equipment, as well as economic updates and interviews with key people in Michigan's commercial construction industry.
Progressive Plumbing Supply is a wholesale distributor serving the residential and commercial markets within Southeastern Michigan. The company has branches in Oxford, Detroit, and Warren.
Caniff Electric is a full-line wholesale electrical distributor specialized to serve the commercial and industrial electrical industry. The company operates out of three Michigan locations, including Hamtramck, Mount Clemens, and Detroit.
Located in Livonia, Gutherie Lumber is a fourth-generation, family-owned business providing lumber, windows and doors, and manufactured wall panels to residential and commercial contractors throughout Southeastern Michigan.
Wimsatt Building Materials has seven locations throughout Michigan and one in Toledo. They have been providing the commercial and residential construction industries with roofing materials, windows and doors, and specialty building materials for 85 years.