Why You Cannot Find a Builder

I read and hear more and more tales of woe from people unable to find qualified building contractors. I am currently one of them – while I live in Northeast South Dakota, I also still own a lakefront home on Newman Lake, in Washington. My step-daughter Lindsay is living there currently and it needs a new roof. I have been trying to find a builder to install a new steel roof on it FOR OVER A YEAR!! I have asked for referrals from steel roll formers, contacted roofing firms, I have even run ads on Craigslist – at best I have had no shows and ghosts! Whilst this is a project I could tackle on my own, I do have some slight challenges, 1232 miles of distance and commitments of my time to family and Hansen Pole Buildings’ clients.

This excerpt is from a commentary about an article appearing in this week’s Wall Street Journal:

“People are living in their homes longer which leads to a lower supply of inventory of homes for sale. According to this article, homeowners nationwide are remaining in their homes typically 13 years, five years longer than they did in 2010, according to a new analysis by real-estate brokerage Redfin. The article goes on to say, adjusted for population, the inventory of homes for sale is now near the lowest level in 37 years of record-keeping, according to housing-data firm CoreLogic Inc. This is not the only issue that is leading to a tight supply of homes. Since the recession, home construction hasn’t been keeping up with demand due to shortages of labor and land. Also, the price and lack of starters’ homes has hurt as well. The average price of lower-priced homes rose by 64% from early 2012 to late 2018, according to mortgage-data tracker CoreLogic. Data from Freddie Mac showed from roughly the end of 2000 to the end of 2017, median home prices rose 21% after adjusting for inflation, while median household income rose 2%. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics current estimates indicate that 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.”

Virtually every contractor with mediocre or better skills is booked with work for six or more months and can pretty well name their own price. Traditionally hiring a post frame building technician to assemble a building kit has run at approximately 50% of what material investment was. This shortage of builders has led to seeing quotes of equal to or even more than material’s costs!

There are solutions – do it yourself.

Let’s look at some facts. 

An average post frame building kit package is currently roughly $25,000.  An average professional building crew will put this up in roughly 200 person-hours (a highly experienced crew 100-120 hours). A DIYer will take about twice as long, with much of these extra hours due to taking the time to do precision work.

Let’s say quotes for construction are coming in equal to materials at $25,000. Divided by 400 hours (for doing it yourself) would be $62.50 an hour. Now if you NET $62.50 an hour or more (roughly $125 an hour pre-tax) it makes sense to hire your work to be done, provided you are still willing to keep a watchful eye on quality of workmanship being provided. 

For $125 an hour – most people can find plenty of time.

Another popular excuse is, “I do not have skills”. If you can read English and follow instructions, Hansen Pole Buildings provides a 500 page Construction Manual to guide you through every step of construction including diagrams and actual photos. I have had clients close to 80 years old successfully assemble their own beautiful post frame buildings.

What are you waiting for? Call 1(866)200-9657 to speak with a Building Designer today and get one step closer to your ideal dream building.

7 thoughts on “Why You Cannot Find a Builder

  1. My own personal problem is more physical ability than lack of skills or lack of confidence. I just turned 66 and even without the two motorcycle accidents (over a 30 year period), I can tell you that my physical abilities ain’t what they once were.

    And yes, the concern about finding a post frame builder in my desired location (Edgewood, NM – east of ABQ) is a large part of what is keeping me from pulling the trigger.

    1. Clarification.

      The two motorcycle accidents “that pretty much tore up my right leg, including destroying my right knee”.

    2. There is a good chance we can assist you in finding a builder who will service your area. I have a message out for him currently for you.

      1. Wow. I consider that definitely above and beyond. Thank you.

        Really need to get this process started. My trigger time frame is sometime next year, driven mainly by selling my current home. With your permission, will be reaching out to you.

        1. I have heard back from the builder, he is from Texas but is definitely interested in doing your erection services. Please call 1(866)200-9657 to discuss with one of our Building Designers now, while you have, at least in theory, plenty of time. Once you have finalized things and are moving closer, we can get you and the builder connected.

          1. Read your blog post for today regarding not sending builder data until after a Hansen building contract is reached after sending my reply today. I understand and consider that to be a perfectly reasonable policy. Will be calling the toll free number provided at first opportunity. Is there a “business hours only” limitation on the call? I cannot call from the office, but I also don’t want to be interrupting anyone’s dinner.

          2. Most usually you can reach someone between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Central Time M-F. If you would like an evening call please email to PoleBarnGuru@HansenPoleBuildings.com with your contact number and best time/days to reach you and we can arrange it (we do have team members who are available evenings and weekends).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *