BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Western New York’s mild winter has turned into a windfall for the construction industry and other types of businesses that do most of their work outside.
Without the typical onslaught of winter’s cold, snow, and ice, contractors have been bringing on new customers and getting a lot of work done now, rather than waiting for the weather to break in the spring.
Some public works projects have built-in incentives with bonuses for contractors that finish their jobs early, while home improvement companies can get roofs, fences, and window replacements done without battling the elements.
Dan Rott, Vice President of William C. Rott and Son said, their boom actually started with the “Snovember” Storm in 2014. Due to heavy property damage, Rott signed on $2 million in new customers to repair homes and businesses.
But there is a down side: they have had problems hiring more workers to keep up with the demand, testing the patience of some customers.
“Obviously some of our customers were concerned with how far behind we were, getting the work done. So with the nice weather we’ve got, it has really helped us trying to re-fulfill our commitments to our customers.”
Rott concedes this worker shortage is hurting customer relations, “This last year, there has been a serious worker shortage. A lot of guys can’t handle the work–the work is actually very challenging physically, especially roofing.”
The shortage of good, quality workers is not just a problem for Rott and Son. Dan said the shortage is affecting the entire home improvement industry–from roofers to carpenters.