Many people may not start home improvement or renovation work until warmer weather returns in the spring, but now might be the time to stock up on items like interior paint and exterior.
Domestic supplies have struggled to keep up with demand, causing price hikes and shortages. Locally, stores appear to have enough inventory to meet demand, but it’s hard to say how long that will last.
True Value Orbisonia owner Ed Harry says the paint shortage is linked to the Texas energy crisis that occurred after a severe frost hit most of the state earlier this year. It took power offline for weeks and damaged homes and equipment that weren’t designed to withstand low temperatures.
“Several factories have been closed or damaged. I think that’s what does it, ”Harry said.
Oil is a key component used in the production of paint, and production slowed as Texas ran out of power due to winter storms.
Harry said he had already had to raise prices for painting three or four times this year. He said that although prices have increased, they have been fortunate enough to remain well stocked in their store.
“Thank goodness we had a big inventory to start with because now we can’t order much,” Harry said.
Marty Raffensberger, store manager for Allensville Planing Mill and True Value (APM), said she had a similar experience at her Smithfield Township store.
“Right now we don’t have a shortage, but we’re very lucky in that regard,” Raffensberger said. “We have a pretty good footing right now, and that’s because we’ve kept a larger inventory for potential shortages.”
Raffensberger said it was difficult to say what this inventory would look like in two or three months. She said sales tend to slow during the holiday season, but will likely pick up in the New Year. Supply may be able to meet demand by then, but inflation and shipping difficulties may continue to affect stores.
“I hope everything improves soon,” Harry said, noting other shortages.
Raffensberger also found shortages of specialty items.