Over the last 10 years, the construction industry, residential and commercial has been on a roller coaster ride. The big economic crash in 2007 affected all industries, especially the construction industry. Thankfully, the economy is becoming healthier and the construction industry is steadily growing, though still not at the levels of the mid-2000s where it was at its peak. Why is construction growing slowly? One of the main reasons is not because of lower demand but because of the construction workforce. Builders are having a hard time finding laborers. Builders are especially finding it hard to find framing carpenters, causing the housing market to grow slowly due to builders not being able to meet the demand. Did you know the average framing carpenter is in their 40s? Specialty workers like plumbers, electricians, and masons average age are late 50s!
As you can read from the above paragraph, it’s clear that young generations are not picking up the trades. Why is this? Well, according to the research there a few different reasons. One reason is more high schools are eliminating vocational programs because of needing budget cuts (and this often goes first) and schools are pushing kids to go to college. In today’s society, we often perceive success if you have a four-year college degree. With the aftermath of the economic crisis, we recognize that having a four-year degree does not always mean you will be better off. Going into the trades is viable and can provide one with a nice living.
Another reason builders cannot find workers is that research shows 30% of laborers left the workforce during the housing crisis. 10 years ago, there were a million laborers, now it’s down 40%. A lot of these workers have not come back because the perception is construction is not stable and is too risky of an industry to work in. In reality, this truly isn’t the case right now. Now more than ever, construction workers are in demand.
So how do we fix this problem?
The Future of Construction
This is where prefab construction comes in. Companies like ourselves, offer prefabricated options that cut down the number of carpenters needed on-site and also reduces on-site labor time significantly. Here at Davis Timber Frame, we offer different structural prefabrication packages. We offer timber frame construction which is typically wrapped in Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS) and with this construction, a home goes up in a matter of 2-3 weeks. We also offer a 2x conventional panelized wall and roof system for those who want a more conventional look and the shell can be built in a matter of 2-3 weeks, too. We’ve had many builders approach us, especially over the past couple of years, looking for our prefab packages to help with their on-site labor shortage and it enables them to work on multiple projects.
Not only can you use our prefab home packages to be built faster, but they also reduce the on-site waste significantly. All our materials come pre-cut and ready to be fit together like a puzzle. There is minimal cutting if any needed on site with our materials. The quality of our prefab building systems is also top of the line. For example, our 2x panelized wall and roof panels are very similar to stick framing, however, the panels are built in a controlled environment with precision in mind. We use CNC machinery to make precise cuts and the 2x components fit nicely. With our timber frames, we take pride in the quality and craftsmanship we provide. Timber framing is unique and produces much tighter joinery when using CNC machinery.
We predict over the next few years, we will continue to see a shift to prefabricated construction due to there not being enough laborers available and also because of the speed that prefabrication offers.
If you are a builder or homeowner looking for high quality and fast construction, we invite you to call us at 800.636.0993 to learn more about our building systems.