The demand for roofing contractors in areas hard hit by hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne is so high there are waiting lists of up to a month for people needing repairs.
To help ease demand, Gov. Jeb Bush signed an order Sept. 14 that makes it possible for out-of-state roofing contractors to help repair homes and businesses in Florida. The specialty license is temporary though, expiring after 90 days. To help quicken the reconstruction process, Bush is also allowing contractors who normally subcontract roofing work to do the repairs.
In Alabama, where hurricane Ivan caused significant damage on the Gulf Coast, a temporary license policy for out-of-state contractors has not yet been approved.
In both Florida and Alabama, there are significant supply shortages that have added to the cost of reconstruction. Prices for shingles, black roofing, insulation and asphalt have skyrocketed, some contractors estimate as much as 15 percent, since the start of hurricane season. Home and business owners are absorbing most of the extra cost.
Charles Angell, a contractor from Miami, says insurance companies have delayed reconstruction because they aren’t cutting checks yet, and often the insurance payments aren’t enough.
“The insurance companies are not paying what the work is worth,” Angell told The Miami Herald.
To find out what construction services and equipment are most needed in Florida, the Disaster Contractors Network features an online board where contractors or the public can post their services or needs, with contact information. Roofers, tree trimmers and general contractors are currently the most needed.
In Gulf Shores, Alabama, the cleanup process is in full swing, and it will likely be a few weeks before reconstruction begins. But the City Council is optimistic about the area’s growth. Gregg Kennedy, a local contractor and City Council member, expects hurricane damage will result in more stringent building codes and says reconstruction may even drive up development. The city already has plans for a 66-acre shopping center and blueprints for an extension of the boardwalk along the beach.
To check out the Disaster Contractors Network, click on the link to the right.