Hurricane Ian likely to exacerbate ongoing material, labor shortages impacting builders

Costs, delivery times will impact east coast of Florida, home improvement expert says
Damaged homes are seen in the wake of Hurricane Ian, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, on Sanibel Island, Fla.
Posted at 4:47 PM, Oct 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-06 19:51:43-04

WELLINGTON, Fla. — Rebuilding on the west coast of Florida after Hurricane Ian is going to draw a massive amount of resources.

Locating materials and labor is already a challenge for some projects, and it's expected to get worse in the weeks to come.

Glenn Gurvitch's home was damaged after a tornado in Wellington tore through his neighborhood last week.

"The whole screen enclosure is ripped up," he said.

Wellington tornado damage to Glenn Gurvitch's home
Glenn Gurvitch's home in Wellington was damaged by a tornado on Sept. 27, 2022.

The aluminum frame was mangled and now there are open spaces where the screen once enclosed his patio.

"This is probably a total loss of the screen enclosure," Gurvitch said. "I also have roof damages."

Getting the damages fixed before the rebuilding rush starts on the west coast is a priority.

Tat Granata, president of Prestige Windows and Doors, Oct. 6, 2022
Tat Granata says the influx of supplies and labor to repair Florida's west coast will impact other parts of the state.

"Certainly, the material costs and delivery times are going to be something we are going to be dealing with here on the east coast —even though the hurricane didn't get hit here," Tat Granata, president of Prestige Windows and Doors, said.

Granata said he's already getting calls from manufacturers who expect a 15 to 20% hike on some projects. This comes as demand for materials and labor starts to increase in southwest Florida.

"We are seeing again a lot of the workforce go to the west coast and chasing the storm a little bit," Granata said.

Glenn Gurvitch, Wellington home damaged by tornado
Glenn Gurvitch discusses the damage to his Wellington home after an EF-1 tornado hit his neighborhood on Sept. 27, 2022.

Gurvitch hasn't cleaned up the bulk of the damage at his home as he waits for an insurance adjuster to survey his property. This may cause more delays for homeowners hoping to get repairs done quickly.

"It's very hard to get the insurance adjusters here. They're just inundated in the west coast, Naples and Fort Myers," Gurvitch said. "I just have to wait. It could be months."

Local contractors said even though residents have a short window before rebuilding starts on the west coast, make sure you vet contractors and plan your repair or upgrade in a timely manner so you're not impacted by the expected upcoming delays.