Contractors Note an Increase of Project Demand Despite the Construction Value Decline in October
November 21, 2012

by Kaitlan Mitchell, kmitchell@glass.com and Megan Headley, mheadley@glass.com

Despite October’s construction value decline of 14 percent presented in the latest McGraw-Hill Construction report, some glazing contractors are starting to see a rise in project demand. The report attributes October’s percentage drop to the drastic pullback of electric power and gas plant sector. Total construction would have registered a 3 percent gain from a month-to-month analysis with the exclusion of this category. Although this month reports a dip in construction value, some contractors note business is rising.

Custom Glass Services in Frederick, Md., is among those few glazing contractors starting to see its backlog of commercial glazing projects rise again. The subcontractor serves projects in the Maryland, D.C., Virginia and West Virginia areas and, according to financial officer Jennifer Carr, “Our backlog is probably the largest it’s been in about three years right now.”

The types of projects feeding that backlog are in flux. “I would say it’s mixed,” says Carr of the projects on the company’s table.  I feel like we’re always going through hills and valleys as far as workload. Right now we’re seeing a lot of apartment building in the area, so more private work is going up again. It seems like, after the crash, we had a lot of federal work. Then we also saw a lot of local government work. Now we’re seeing lots of private work. It’s more of a mix as federal work is going away.”

According to Carr, strong relationships with general contractors are more crucial than ever, as large numbers of hungry glazing contractors are bidding every available job.

“It’s confusing because we see more budget jobs out there, where it’s in the pre-construction phase. We haven’t seen that in a while, but we’re seeing that again. At the same time we’re seeing public bids going out where there’s 17 general contractors on it, so that gives us a hint that there’s a lot of contractors looking for work,” Carr says.

Are you rebuilding your backlog? Share your story by writing to kmitchell@glass.com. For more on this story, see the upcoming January issue of USGlass magazine.

This story is an original story by USGlass magazine/USGNN™. Subscribe to USGlass magazine.
Subscribe to receive the free e-newsletter.