Guardian Glass raised prices 40 per cent this month
June 22, 2022
Photo credit: Guardian Glass
Guardian Glass, a major supplier of glazing to Canada’s construction industry, has raised the price of glass 40 per cent.
Guardian gave notice to customers on June 14 that it was raising the price of clear glass 40 per cent effective June 20. According to a Guardian Glass letter to suppliers: tinted glass and other speciality glazing, as well as mirrors, will increase 25 per cent; all thicknesses of clear float and tinted float, as will prices of tempered glass, tempered coated, and patterned glass will increase by 40 per cent; and, UltraClear, coated SunGuard, coated ClimaGuard, ShowerGuard and laminated glass will all increase by 20 per cent.
“The global situation facing all of us has created unprecedented pressure on our business,” said executive vice president of the Americas Rick Zoulek and Lance Altizer, vice president of sales in the Americas, in this joint letter. Other suppliers quickly followed suit.
Combined with cost increases for other materials, these increases put the entire production chain at risk, said Craig Enns, vice-president and area manager with EllisDon Corp., a major Vancouver construction company.
“The scale of the increases now is such that no matter how good or honourable a trade you are, you can’t absorb a 20 per cent glass increase overnight and still honour your price. Those margins just don’t exist,” Enns said during a June 16 panel discussion regarding construction costs hosted by commercial real estate association NAIOP in Vancouver.
Glass isn’t the only cost that’s increasing. Statistics Canada’s Industrial Product Price Index reports lumber costs remain 87 per cent higher than in January 2020, while the prices for fabricated metal products and other construction materials have increased 43 per cent.
Drywall is up 55 per cent versus pre-pandemic levels, NAIOP was told.
Delivery timelines for almost all materials have doubled since the start of the pandemic, adding to cost pressures.
Enns related how a supplier diverted reinforcing steel for one project mid-Pacific and told the subtrade a new, higher price would be available when the new shipment was en route. The work was being done on a fixed-price basis and was 50 per cent complete by cost.
“He’s now facing, at these cost increases, insolvency, to be frank, to honour his low price,” said Enns.
Statistics compiled by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada show insolvencies among construction companies nationwide have increased in recent months. The first quarter of 2022 saw insolvencies rise 20 per cent to 118. An additional 45 insolvencies in April pushed the total in the latest 12 months to 416—a 42 per cent increase.