Understanding the Current State of the US Windows & Siding Industry: Facing Supply Shortages & Price Increases in 2021

Skywalker Windows and Siding

The Current State of the Windows & Siding Industry

This past year has certainly presented its share of challenges for most of us. The COVID-19 pandemic pretty much took everyone by surprise, and even though we’re now well into 2021, we still have a ways to go as far as recovery is concerned. And it’s not just about providing for our own personal health, or our ability to re-enter some state of normalcy involving social interactions. The way businesses function has been forced to adjust too, and we’re still dealing with some ongoing repercussions which continue to have an effect on the economy as a whole.

Take the windows and siding industries, for example. Unfortunately, these essential home improvement services haven’t been spared from these current economic challenges either. In this article, we hope to give you a window of insight into what’s going on that’s affecting local windows and siding service providers. And after we look at some of the bad news, we’ll be able to share some good news, too. Despite the present circumstances, Skywalker Windows & Siding is still in a great position to meet these challenges, and we stand ready to provide you with whatever windows, doors, or siding solutions you may need!

 

Windows & Doors Supply Issues

Construction professionals refer to window-and-door work as fenestration (a term which is used to refer to the design and implementation of any external openings and entryways found in a building). But no matter what you choose to call it, windows and door supplies continue to be diminished in 2021. You’re probably well aware that there’s been a lumber shortage since 2020. But according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the second hardest items to get right now are windows and doors! We can confirm this from our own personal experience at Skywalker, as well – some window and door products are currently hard to find, indeed.

doors and windows

 

Siding Material Issues

The same NAHB report mentioned above also listed vinyl siding and wood siding products as two other materials in somewhat limited supply. For example, nearly one-third of American home improvement contractors surveyed reported that they were either experiencing “some shortage” or “serious shortage” in terms of vinyl siding availability. A recent Forbes report added fuel to these findings by adding that the first 6 months of 2021 saw unprecedented labor shortages as a side effect of the pandemic. In addition, demand for materials and construction jobs has skyrocketed at the same time. For those of us in the home improvement services industry, this current demand is really a good problem, but it certainly hasn’t helped us in terms of finding available windows, doors, and siding material supplies.

 

Other Home Exterior Material Issues

The material supply issues extend beyond windows, doors, and siding too. Similar impacts are being seen with practically every type of construction material. Plywood, roofing materials, trusses, wallboard, and insulation are in somewhat limited supply as well. And to add insult to injury, material prices for these items has also gone up during the same time frame.

 

Why All the Shortages?

The pandemic itself was a primary factor in the current building materials shortage we’re still experiencing. From a manufacturing perspective, the social distancing and quarantine requirements led to limited available manpower for production. There have been disruptions in the transportation and distribution chain as well – not just at the national level, but at a truly global level.

Another unforeseen impact of the pandemic is that it let to an increased demand for home improvement products. As people chose (or were forced) to spend more time at home, they’ve had time to give more focus towards needed home upgrades and improvements. Many have chosen to make some high-ROI upgrades like windows and vinyl siding replacements. Of course, it makes sense why folks would want to go with some energy-efficient window and door upgrades, since they’ve been shown to help lower energy bills by 20% or more!

 

Homeowner Impacts: Price Increases, Limited Product Availability, and Longer Lead Times

Once you combine the current lower availability of materials with a high state of demand, there will obviously be negative impacts that get passed along to homeowners, unfortunately. One of the first issues that becomes apparent is rising prices. Window, door, and siding prices have all gone up over the past year, and more price increases are expected as we get deeper into 2021.

So if you’d like to minimize the cost of your needed window, door, or siding replacement, the best piece of advice we can share is that you should go ahead and book your project sooner than later. The longer you wait, the potentially harder it may be to find the materials you need, and the more you’re likely to have to pay.

But beyond price increases, two other key issues that homeowners may face are limited color availability and longer installation lead times. Out of necessity, many manufacturers with limited manpower have been forced to limit production to only include the most popular or common colors. So if you’re looking for a special-order or less commonly popular color, you’re likely to have greater access by going ahead and acting now.

Shortages of materials typically equate to longer waits for installation. At Skywalker, we’ve seen delays for the fulfilling of material orders ranging anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Better to go ahead and place your order now, rather than having to risk an undesirably long wait time for materials to arrive!

 

And Now, For The Good News – Skywalker Windows & Siding Still Has You Covered in NC & VA!

While this state of the industry report may sound like a fair bit of gloom and doom, be encouraged in the knowledge that not all is lost – far from it! If you’re located within our combined NC and VA service area, Skywalker Windows & Siding can still take care of your needs. We’re fully-staffed, and ready to serve!

Thanks to our preferred partnerships with great window and exterior door providers like Pella, ProVia, West Window Corporation, and VinylMax, as well as great siding product providers like Norandex, Alside, James Hardie, and DaVinci, Skywalker still has all the resources to get you whatever you need. While we can’t always control material delays or prevent any upcoming price increases that may be passed along to us by the manufacturers, what we can promise is that nobody delivers better installation services or personalized customer service than Skywalker!

Skywalker is proud to serve the NC Piedmont Triad, Piedmont Triangle, Lake Norman area, and greater Roanoke & Southwestern VA region. We provide complete replacement services for windows, entry doors, siding, and other essential features. We even build porch and deck additions! So go ahead and give us a call at (336) 265-9595 today, and let us show you the Skywalker difference!

And to our many customers and partners who are part of the extended Skywalker family, we just want to say THANK YOU for your patience, understanding and continued support during these trying times. Know that we’re committed to serving you well, and we’ll work to keep earning your trust every single day!

Luke Wilson

Luke Wilson

Owner - Skywalker Windows and Siding
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