PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — The construction of every building begins with a good foundation and that foundation is formed out of concrete.

“On average, I’d say we’re booking about I’d say 260 to 300 yards (of concrete to pour) a day,” said Bill Yates, the general manager of Carroll’s Building Materials in St. Petersburg.

What You Need To Know

  • Concrete shortage ongoing across Bay area 
  • Builders having trouble finding concrete supplies
  • Prices up about 35 percent this year, says general manager of Carroll’s Building Materials

If there’s a home or building going up in Tampa Bay, he says there’s a good chance one of his crews poured the foundation. It’s a job he’s taken pride in for the last 12 years and business has never been better, he proclaims, except for a problem that’s threatening to bust the boom in building.

There’s a nationwide shortage of concrete. When it comes to construction, Yates says concrete is everything.

“The new Howard Frankland Bridge expansion, concrete. Most of our roadways, interstates are concrete,” he said. “Your home foundations, blocks, pavers. Concrete is a huge part of our building industry.”

According to concrete industry experts, there have been slight construction supply shortages for years, but right now they say developers are building faster than suppliers can make the building materials. The shortage has left Yates and others like him scrambling to find building supplies wherever they can.

“So we’re sending trucks to northern Florida, sending them out to the east, even south to pick up this product,” he said. “And with that, your transportation cost go up a little bit more.”

It only takes three ingredients to make ideal concrete. Sand, cement and a porous gravel called #89 Limerock.

“That’s the key right there, limerock,” Yates said. “Here lately, it’s been hard to find.”

With concrete in high demand and short supply, Yates says the price has gone up 35% so far this year. Despite feeling cemented in supply chain challenges, he says he’s been able to find just enough materials to keep pouring concrete at his clients’ construction sites.

“There’s just a lot of work,” Yates said. “I mean there’s plenty of work for everybody and really nobody should be slow with how much work there is right now, everybody should be packed out you know, week, 2 to 3 weeks out with concrete. Just need concrete. That’s it.”

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