to upward pressure on prices and harming American consumers' housing affordability. The U.S. needs to work with Canada to end the tariffs and achieve a long-term, stable solution in lumber trade that provides for a consistent and fairly priced supply of lumber." The tariff reductions were expected to go into effect in mid-December 2020.

For community associations the ripple effect of material delays and shortages, price fluctuations, extended delays in product fulfillment and shipping on roofing and cladding materials is likely to be felt for a significant period on many projects and perhaps throughout the project's entire length, causing changes to the project completion schedule. Contractors have been preparing for these effects by speaking with their suppliers every week to pinpoint vulnerabilities and pursue updates to keep their clients informed and minimize disruption within communities.

Although many contractors are looking at alternative materials and products to resume projects and meet planned deadlines, other hurdles arise, such as cost and visible inconsistencies between units within the same project. The new materials and products must be compatible and of the same quality. Often, approval on the use of new products and materials would need authorization by the project engineer and association’s board of directors.

Many contractors now include escalation clauses in contracts with their clients, emphasizing that if prices increase by a certain percentage, clients will be required to pay the extra costs. These escalation clauses can help protect contractors against the abrupt changes in prices between submitting a proposal and contract signing.

Now, more than ever, clients should review the terms and conditions of

their contracts, understand there may be changes to the project schedule and completion date as a consequence of material delays, be aware of their financing terms and other liability risks.

As we all learn to navigate the unprecedented challenges imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, we need to continue to be flexible, work collaboratively and show continued patience as we may be dealing with these disruptions well into 2021. We are all in this together, and taking care of our clients remains our top priority.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Anne Yannarella is Director of Marketing | Business Development at CAI Diamond Partner National Contractors, Inc. Ms. Yannarella is a CAI Educated Business Partner (EBP) and recently served as Chair of the Awards & Gala Committee. She is also active in the New Jersey Chapter of CAI. Ms. Yannarella can be reached via email at: 21

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