North Bay development leaders reveal how the pandemic has affected revenues, jobs, supplies prices

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The world remains vigilant in the fight against the coronavirus, and that goes for the region’s top contractors and their companies.

But there is more to consider, such as material costs, labor availability and the risk of forest fires returning.

When asked about the status of their industry by the magazine, some of these executives also shared good news. They are busy with some expecting earnings to grow from single digits to more than double.

Here is these guides’ view of the building status in the North Bay.

Robert Cantu

Western Builders, 1400 N. Dutton Ave., No. 19, Santa Rosa 95401; 707-542-3213; westernbuilders.info

How long has this business existed?

19 years

Briefly describe the type of construction work carried out.

Commercial, design-build and custom living.

How much sales growth do you expect in 2021 compared to 2020?

Similar to slightly higher sales are expected for 2021.

How has the experience of the pandemic and its associated restrictions more than a year ago changed the way your company does business?

The reactions to the pandemic have slowed or stopped the planning and aspiration phases of several projects. Some projects are and will be delayed while others never get started due to shifts in material costs.

And of all the problems your company has faced over the past year, which one was the most difficult and why?

Material price increases. Abnormal gains across the board.

What are your prospects for the North Bay construction industry by the end of the year?

The supply of projects will be maintained throughout the year. In 2022 we are likely to see a downward trend as projects do not start with the planning and entitlement phase 20/21.

In particular, describe the effects of the material price increase. Does this lead to customers being suspicious of taking up jobs or do they really want to get started and avoid even more price increases in the future?

The increase in materials has created uncertainty among end-user customers. Those who can absorb the bumps will avoid another bump. Several investor-driven projects no longer become “pencils” and become non-starters.

To what extent has the threat of forest fires and / or power outages changed the wishes of customers in their commercial or private projects?

It has redesigned the choice of materials and preferences. In response to the forest fires, building codes are also starting to change in some areas. The result was an increase in construction costs.

What are your three biggest jobs right now? What is interesting about them?

110,000 square foot office building in Napa – merging complex building and surface systems.

Architectural firm – Being selected for an architect is a real compliment.

Retail Financial Branch Location – Complex multi-phase indoor, outdoor, and site redevelopment while keeping the facility operational throughout the construction process.

Mark Davis

Wright Contracting, 3020 Dutton Ave., Santa Rosa 95407; 707-528-1172; wrightcontracting.com

How long has this business existed?

Since 1953 (age 68).

Briefly describe the type of construction work carried out.

Wright Contracting is a general contractor specializing in commercial construction, including wineries, hospitality, education, medical, apartment buildings, premium residential real estate, and more.

How much sales growth do you expect in 2021 compared to 2020? What contributes to this?

We expect a slight decline in sales in 2021 due to the completion of some major projects and the overall delayed project starts due to the pandemic.

How has the experience of the pandemic and its associated restrictions more than a year ago changed the way your company does business?

We adapt to Zoom meetings and calls versus face-to-face, face-to-face interactions with clients and the design team. Building requires a collaborative approach / effort that is difficult to achieve through remote viewing.

And of all the problems your company has faced over the past year, which one was the most difficult and why?

Material cost escalation and product lead times. When you as the builder commit to a price and schedule based on the current market during the prep build phase and the market changes completely in the months that follow, finding ways to meet that commitment is a challenge.

What are your prospects for the North Bay construction industry by the end of the year?

All indications are that the industry is looking to recover as many projects are in the planning and / or approval phase. However, material availability and ongoing material price increases will certainly bring some projects to a standstill.