The construction industry took a hard hit during the 2008 recession, but as the economy rebounds, more and more businesses are launching and growing. Earlier this year IBISWorld put out a market research report that suggests the commercial building industry is on a steady rise, reflected by strong demand from key downstream markets. The increase in construction correlates with a positive five-year outlook on corporate profit.
The economic growth means new light commercial construction starts are popping up all over of the country. But because of the economic rebound, the construction industry is also seeing a labor shortage due to the high demand. For those skilled workers, this is a positive. According to the Wall Street Journal, weekly earnings in the construction sector were up 3.3% this summer, versus the national average of 2.2%.
As a result, many contractors and builders are faced with a challenge: How do you keep up with the growing demand for new project starts with a limited (and higher paid) workforce? Fortunately, engineered wood can be a useful resource when building light commercial buildings for businesses like fast-food restaurants, banks, churches, dentist offices, etc. Many LP products can help combat the pain points of a labor shortage due to the high demand the building industry faces while the economy is on an upswing.
For example, LP SmartSide siding is significantly lighter than fiber cement, making it easier for a single person to carry a piece. LP SmartSide can easily and quickly be installed as attractive and durable exterior cladding, which can translate to less overall labor and a better chance at hitting project timelines and budgets.
In addition to shifts to accommodate the changing economy throughout 2020, LP sought to respond to ongoing industry trends, green construction, virtual design and construction and more. We recently discussed the upcoming year with many of our leaders to see what’s next in the building industry in 2021.
Let’s examine the impact of water on wood building materials, how products from the LP Structural Solutions product portfolio can help you tackle moisture on the jobsite and how to avoid water damage to engineered wood.