The COVID-19 pandemic has been impacting Americans and world citizens in every possible area of life, including construction. In late February, the virus was first diagnosed in the United States, and as of late April, we have seen nearly 900,000 confirmed cases and around 50,000 deaths. The full impact of the virus remains to be seen over the next few months or years, but it’s safe to say that we’ll feel the effects for a long time to come.
When it comes to construction in Bluffton, SC and beyond, experts predict that the industry will see some major impacts and changes. Here’s what to expect:
- Shipping and material delays: Delays are adding up as most of our materials, which often ship from China, have slowed or been halted indefinitely. Because we buy from China for everything from lumber to plumbing fixtures, this has had a massive impact on the construction industry as a whole. This in turn delays sales of homes and impacts the housing industry farther down the line. We may also see pricing increases.
- More quarantines and travel bans: As you no doubt have heard by now, the quarantines and travel bans are designed to slow the spread of COVID-19 so as not to overwhelm the healthcare system. This can be expected to continue as a vaccine is developed, whenever the scientific community sees an increase in cases.
- Legal issues: Despite quarantines and travel bans, many construction companies are looking at serious penalties if they don’t complete contracts on time. We can expect to see allowances made in future contracts.
- Hesitant lenders and clients: The uncertainty around COVID-19 has made lenders more wary of lending significant sums—after all, unemployment is at an all-time high—and clients are less likely to undertake large projects.
- Global uncertainties: With the stock market vacillating wildly and oil at a low, we can expect that the global economy will take a hit, too. This means fewer large projects and an increased focus on how to make the most of the time and money we do have.
- More emphasis on physical and mental health: Construction is a notoriously taxing industry, especially on one’s physical health. Since there are few ways for the average worker to do their job from home—and the fact that construction is considered essential in Bluffton, SC and elsewhere—they’re particularly vulnerable to the virus as well as related mental health issues. Not only is there significant anxiety about the virus itself, but the uncertain nature of the virus and the world is taking a toll on mental health as well. Given the highly-skilled nature of construction jobs, it’s difficult to replace some workers if they fall ill. While we can combat these issues by practicing good hygiene, social distancing and focusing on the facts in front of us, we can also expect that construction companies will highlight health in the years to come.
Spring Construction in Bluffton, SC continues to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic—call us today to learn more about our services.
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