The connection between condo construction and gas pricing may not be an obvious one, but Wayne Bellet, Owner of Bellet Construction Company in New York City, says they’re closer than one might think.
“What comes to mind instantly, in regard to construction and materials, is how competitive roofing has become for the first time,” Bellet says. “Roofing used to be remarkably expensive, and I think that dates back to when the petroleum prices were really high. If you remember a few years ago, gasoline was almost $5 per gallon, and that’s a good way to relate to readers: gas is petroleum, and roofing [materials] are derived from petroleum. Now…even though gasoline in Manhattan is about $3, the price of roofing has gone down considerably. And in my opinion, I think that’s because the marketplace is saturated with roofing manufacturers. The most typically fashionable companies are being challenged by companies that aren’t as big, or aren’t as heavily marketed, but are offering things we haven’t seen before.”
As any New Yorker knows, one cannot take a short stroll for a coffee without encountering the scaffolding that’s required to be put up around construction projects to protect passersby from any debris or other objects that might fall from the work area above. The untrained eye may not see anything new there; same old cumbersome metal contraption, right? But according to Bellet, there’s evolution even here.
“We do a lot of scaffolding work for façade s, and, talking about trends… we have these scaffolding motors now that move faster and safer than they ever have before. And this may not seem like a huge headline, but when you’re dealing with a 30-story building, and you pick up 15 minutes every time you go up and down, which is often… you really pick up a lot of productivity. You have two very costly men standing on this platform, saving 15 minutes on each lift up and down, which adds up to hours! So it’s a crazy new improvement.”