The days when Summit County’s contractors had to plow snow to make ends meet might be a memory, but as business rebounds from the Great Recession, at least one lingering effect remains.

Those local contractors who did survive the economic downturn, now fielding more requests for work than they could ever satisfy, and as a result projects are taking longer to complete.

It’s no secret Summit County is in the midst of a record-breaking building boom with the county recently announcing it issued more building permits last year than any other year prior to the recession.

The number of building permits issued in Summit County throughout 2017 skyrocketed to 852 after the county OK’d 710 in 2016 and just 644 the year before that. The permits cover everything from spec homes to the luxury housing market and commercial builds.

There were 720 registered contractors in Summit County in 2010, but only 562 remained in 2017, according to Scott Hoffman, the county’s chief building official.

“There is definitely less of a subcontractor base then there was seven years ago,” said Matt Mueller, director of development at Summit Sky Ranch. “During the recession it appeared that some of the subcontractors chased other opportunities in different industries, like the oil and gas industry or moved to other markets.”

“There is much greater demand than we have people to do the work,” said Chris Renner, owner of Pinnacle Mountain Homes, a Breckenridge-based builder that accounts for roughly a third to a fourth of Summit County’s luxury home builds.

Renner tracks the average length of construction projects in the county through his business, and he said he’s noticed it’s taking longer now to see a project through than it previously did.

“I can tell you projects are going on today across the country, and there are not enough people to do the work,” he said.

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