Home builders change strategies as they face ongoing supply shortages

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SOUTHWEST FLORIDA — Home builders are changing up their strategies as they face ongoing supply shortages and delays in the building process.

“We’re in a moment right now,” said Fred Arnold, senior sales consultant at Harden Homes. “It’s the perfect storm.”

Arnold wants to help his customers build the home of their dreams, but he said everything is taking longer than he would like.

“I used to tell people 12 months,” said Arnold. “Now I tell them 14 months.”

Arnold and other builders are facing circumstances they’ve never had to face before.

“Building here in Florida is hot, so permitting is slower than usual,” said Eric Smithers, vice president of Galexa Homes.

He said the labor shortage is holding up the approval process and on top of that, supplies are taking longer to come in.

“Things like windows, doors and appliances are just long lead times,” said Smithers.

The delays have builders coming up with new strategies to save time, like having customer buy their own appliances, sticking to a plan once it’s set, and having a little patience in the process.

“We used to be a lot more flexible because we could order and change orders,” said Arnold. “We can’t do that anymore because the delays are 6,8,9 months.”