MONTREAL -- With the approach of another construction season that promises many residential renovations in Quebec, a survey of contractors carried out last month suggests other material supply problems that could cause significant price increases for consumers.

The Leger telephone survey conducted among 750 entrepreneurs and managers of construction and renovation companies reveals that since March 2020, just over four out of five entrepreneurs have faced problems such as delivery times, transit times on construction sites, suppliers being out of stock or at a low inventory level.

The materials most affected by supply issues are, in order, doors and windows, lumber, plywood, roof trusses, joists, engineered wood products and plumbing items.

Respondents also anticipate supply problems for aluminum, concrete, steel, gypsum board and asphalt shingles. This scarcity of materials sometimes results in considerable price increases.

For 42 per cent of contractors, the overall increase in material costs is greater than 20 per cent while for 22 per cent of them, the estimated increase is between 10 and 20 per cent.

Another Leger survey conducted last December of 1,000 respondents indicated that since last March, 65 per cent of homeowners have done renovations to their homes, in particular work relating to the patio, terrace, balcony and landscaping, but also plumbing, electrical, roofing and insulation work.

The survey also reports that two in three homeowners plan to renovate their home by next September. Over half of the entrepreneurs surveyed (51 per cent) predict that by September they will be as busy as they have been so far since the start of the pandemic; 29 per cent expect to be even more so.

Association québécoise de la quincaillerie et des Matériaux de Construction (AQMAT) president and CEO Richard Darveau said that this year, hardware stores and home improvement centres will have more inventory and staffing.

Jean-Francois Samray, of the Quebec Forest Industry Council (CIFQ), believes that the results of these surveys and the expected increase in demand for lumber demonstrate the urgency for the Quebec government to complete the revision of the forestry regime to meet the foreseeable needs of entrepreneurs and consumers.

The professional groups that commissioned the two surveys also encourage consumers, contractors and work providers to be transparent and clear about bids, particularly deadlines, and to include price adjustment clauses.

The surveys were commissioned by the Association de la construction du Québec (ACQ), the Association of Quebec Construction and Housing Professionals (APCHQ), the Association québécoise de la quincaillerie et des Matériaux de Construction ( AQMAT), the Quebec Forest Industry Council (CIFQ) and the Corporation des entrepreneurs générale du Québec (CEGQ).

-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 11, 2021.