What about materials? How does your team deal with delivery delays?
Material shortages and supply chain disruption are unavoidable, but small design changes can make a big difference on the bottom line. For instance, using layouts and designs that consolidate plumbing lines or reduce the need to trench through an existing concrete slab can be helpful. We are working with clients to suggest alternative finishes that provide a similar aesthetic, but at a greatly reduced cost. One good way to avoid delays is to try to secure comparable alternatives for building materials and products.
How is inflation affecting the retail construction side of the business?
It’s a significant issue. We used to be able to hold prices for 30 days easily, and extending that window out to 60 days wasn’t uncommon. Now we can’t reliably hold them for more than a week or two. Sending letters to notify clients about price increases is a regular part of the process these days. When we start out with a client, we let them know exactly how long a given quote is good for. In some cases, developers and construction professionals may not be able to be specific and may need to include market pricing language. For instance, we’ll point out that the cost of a plumbing line item could change as affected by the fluctuating price of copper.
Are there any other tricky situations delaying restaurant openings?
Calling a supply house and asking about timelines can be misleading, because, by the time you sign with them, the delivery estimate could end up being two or three times what they originally quoted. In a market already so chaotic and unpredictable, even the smallest and seemingly most innocuous decisions could end up having an outsized impact on costs and timelines. It’s now more important than ever to communicate clearly with an experienced construction team that understands how to navigate these uncertain times.