This year has definitely been interesting so far.  Due to the pandemic, we have seen shortages of supplies, including building supplies.  The current construction material shortage is slowing down progress on home remodeling, new construction, and home repairs. Local builder supply stores have empty shelves due to the shortage.  In some places, they are seeing a delay in project completion.

Why is there a shortage?

According to some sources, “… it’s becoming increasingly difficult to obtain essential materials from the overseas suppliers they rely on—especially those in China, where quarantines, curfews and other public health measures by the Chinese government has reduced its manufacturing sector to roughly 30% of its usual capacity. Because China has moved past the most difficult part of its pandemic and is currently trying to get its infrastructure back up and running, some manufacturing sector experts predict a six-week to three-month recovery cycle for the supply chain to return to business as usual, but it’s difficult to know for sure if that’s accurate.”  With China being the biggest supply chain of construction material, this has affected our country’s construction industry.

How Can Home Owners Get Their Projects Completed?

With the shortage currently affecting home improvement project.  We would recommend not postponing any necessary home repairs.  As postponing repairs could potentially cause more structural damage and require more material that may not be available.  When it comes to home improvement projects, homeowners may want to contact a general contractor and schedule their remodel project.  Material acquisition may require more time to prepare for a project.

Pressure Treated Wood

Outdoor home improvements have been affected by the pressure-treated wood shortage.  What is Pressure Treated Wood? The most economical choice is pressure-treated (PT) wood. Pressure-treated wood is widely available, affordable, and chemically treated to resist wear. The PT wood resists rot, fungus, and wood-boring bugs giving it a longer life than untreated wood. Previous to 2003, PT wood was treated with chromate copper arsenate (CCA) some say a known carcinogen. Since 2003 the wood is treated with less toxic chemicals, alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ), or copper azoles. The CCA product was far superior to decay than what is available today. There are alternatives to this for decking material.

Other Types of Decking Material


Common Untreated Wood

If you want a complete wood deck, cedar is popular because it retains less moisture than other woods.  Although, you will need to clean and seal this type of wood annually to maintain the color.  A properly maintained cedar deck can have a lifespan of 25 – 40 years. Another natural wood is mahogany.  This hardwood has rich color and is perfect for high traffic, children, or pets.  Like cedar, mahogany will need to be maintained annually for a longer lifespan up to 40 years.

Exotic Wood

Another wood choice is exotic woods. There are several choices of these exotic hardwoods; the most common is ipe (ee-pay). Ipe is also known as ironwood or Pau lope. These woods are very hard, difficult to cut, nail, or screw into, and are more expensive. They are also more difficult to stain, as they do not accept stain well. Builders charge more to install the exotic wood, as they are more difficult to work with. The pros of exotic wood are their beauty and they are more resilient to decay and bugs than other woods. As with all the woods mentioned so far using wood materials requires power washing, staining, and sealing every few years to preserve their beauty and integrity.


Composite decking material can alleviate the annual maintenance. With minimal to no maintenance required, a composite deck can last much longer.  Many deck installation professionals believe that composite deck can last much longer.  Composite material is made from a combination of wood and plastic or vinyl.  Some modern composites are completely plastic or vinyl and from recycled material.  With moisture protection of composite, you are at a lower risk for wood rot or pest damage.  The consistency of the material eliminates warping and splintering as well.  A bonus, composite materials can be heated and shaped to give a unique curve to deck designs. Some composite brands offer both decking material and rails.  Most brands offer a 25-year warranty.  The downfall of composite decks is that once you have determined the color of the material, you cannot stain or change it for 25 years.

Our Recommendations

As we have all learned from this year so far, supply shortages can affect our day to day life.  When it comes to our homes, we need to prepare for these shortages.  Maintaining and repairing the home consistently will eliminate damage to the home.  In our previous blogs, we have a seasonal home maintenance checklist that will help prevent possible future damage to the home.

Your Home Autumn To-Do List

Winterizing Your Home

Spring Home Maintenance List

If CH Construction can assist you with your home renovations, please give us a call.



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