Homes in need of repairs due to Harvey may see shortage of supplies, contractors

HOUSTON – With a 175,000 homes in need of repairs in the greater Houston area after Harvey, experts say patience will be needed.

As more people dry out their homes, contractors may be hard to come by.

“There'll definitely be a shortage,” said Jeff Hunt of Heritage Construction. “It's going to be a delay getting to everybody. There simply aren't enough contractors to do 175,000 homes.”

Hunt said the Greater Houston Builders Association is working to bring in contractors from out of town to meet the demand but he warns: Do your homework. He recommends calling the homeowners association where the contractor is from and see if the contractor is a member.

With so much sheetrock, plywood and doors at the curb, experts say those items could be tougher to find for the short term.

Plants are ramping up production.

“There's going to be a lull on sheetrock,” said Tommy Ferguson of Post Oak Homes. “I talked to my suppliers and they are ordering as much as they can get in.”

If you decide to go DIY while waiting for your contractor, here is what the pros recommend doing and not doing.

“Sheetrock needs to come out, doors need to come out, cabinets need to come out,” Ferguson said. “Stay away from electrical and things like that.”

“During the storm, if the house was without power and the air conditioning unit flooded you need to have it inspected by a licensed HVAC contractor. Just starting it up may do damage to it,” Hunt said.

While Houston should see more supplies coming in within the next month, Hunt says if Irma should hit Florida and cause destruction, Houstonians could feel the squeeze.

It means more people will be looking for construction supplies for repairs.

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