Architectural and Custom Carpenters Project Better Businesses: Industry Snapshot


Although material and labor shortages have caused construction and design companies to report arrears until the fourth quarter of 2021, the industry as a whole appears to be rebounding for residential and commercial projects.

The fourth quarter begins on a positive note, with architectural firms seeing strong business conditions, according to the American Institute of Architects. October’s ABI score was 54.3 with all sectors showing growth: Commercial / Industrial was the strongest at 57.4, followed by Residential at 55.8 and Institutional at 51.4. Architectural firms are also forecasting strong growth for 2022.

Meanwhile, architectural carpenters continue to be cautiously optimistic towards 2022, especially as material costs continue to rise. The results of the AWI Cost of Doing Business show continued declines in profitability and sales – “but overall it’s not too bad.” While the average operating margin declined for the group as a whole, the high-profit companies actually showed a slight increase. The Architectural Woodwork Institute also noted that corporate sentiment is stronger overall.

Custom manufacturers, including cabinet makers, are also optimistic as they continue to benefit from increased remodeling during the pandemic. Conducted by the Cabinetmakers Association and the FDMC / Woodworking Network, a recent survey of small and medium-sized cabinet makers found that 2020 sales for the majority were the same or better than in 2019, and 2021 is expected to be fine. better.

Invoices from architectural firms end the summer with a bang
The architectural billing index (ABI) shows the work on the boards. An index score above 50 indicates growth, while a score below 50 indicates decrease. The month of October shows a slight downturn in the economy in the Northeast, although it is strong elsewhere, according to the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Design contracts were at 58.0.

See the infographic below. Find more market data in the December 2021 FDMC Wood Industry Almanac.

Quick statistics

• The 2021 baseline survey conducted by the Cabinetmakers Association and the FDMC / Woodworking Network shows that the sweet spot for the billable hourly rate for small and mid-size cabinetry shops was between $ 51 and $ 100.

• Home improvement spending has increased 15% over the past year, reaching a median of $ 15,000, according to the 2021 Houzz & Home study. projects) have increased by $ 85,000 or more in 2020, up from $ 80,000 in the previous two years. The study provides an overview of renovation in the United States in 2020 and 2021.

• The new edition of the North American Architectural Woodworking Standards, NAAWS 4.0, came into effect on September 1. Developed jointly by AWMAC and the Woodwork Institute, it includes a unified installation guide, extended material uses, additional assembly methods, and furniture integrity testing.

• The trend of hiring more professionals for renovations continues, according to the 2021 Houzz & Home study: Overview of US Renovation in 2020 & 2021. Almost 7 in 8 homeowners have hired professional help during their renovations in 2020, as in previous years. They continue to hire more than one professional per project, including specialist service providers (49%), construction professionals (36%), and professionals providing design services (18%).

Market data sources: Architectural Carpentry Institute (AWI), The American Institute of Architects (AIA), Association of Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers of Canada (AWMAC), Cabinetmakers Association (CMA), the FDMC magazine, Houzz, LIRA / Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

Category: Architecture and custom: interior commercial and residential carpentry, carpentry, furniture and cabinets.

Find more market data in the December 2021 FDMC Wood Industry Almanac.


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