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Supply-Chain Issues Cause National Window Shortage

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Manufacturers + Suppliers

Supply-Chain Issues Cause National Window Shortage

Material shortages and major backlogs are keeping consumers waiting.


October 25, 2021
Worker putting together a window
Image: Stock.adobe.com

Home builders are citing windows as the biggest current material shortage with extensive lead times caused by lingering shipping and manufacturing obstacles, says a recent market report by John Burns Real Estate Consulting

High demand for building materials will likely delay supply chain normalization in 2022, particularly as labor and supply shortages continue to keep consumers waiting.

Home builders in a recent survey we conducted cited windows as the biggest material shortage right now. Average lead times for windows currently range from 4–15 weeks with some window lead times extending 20–45 weeks. Prior to COVID-19, lead times were typically 2–3 weeks.

Single-family rents have grown 6% in the last year per our Burns Single-Family Rent Index™ (BSFRI). This is the highest Window manufacturing—even in the most automated facilities—is very labor intensive, which makes the industry even more susceptible to labor shortages and COVID precaution challenges and breakouts. Most window manufacturing facilities rely more on labor and less on capital than other building material manufacturers. Cornerstone and PGTI both cited labor constraints on their most recent earning calls, with hiring of manufacturing labor being a focus area for them near term.

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