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During a Pandemic—What to Expect During Your Home Renovation/Construction Project

I recently sat down with colleagues to talk about the present state of home renovation projects—which are emotional no matter when they occur—let alone during an International pandemic. Here is a helpful excerpt from our conversation: Q: Are home renovation/construction projects affordable right now? A: Budget is out the door

The cost of the raw materials has been so erratic since the pandemic began. For example, the cost of lumber has tripled. Spikes in softwood lumber prices in 2020 caused the price of an average new single-family home to increase by $16,148.

Raw material prices are all over the place. Many contractors who committed to projects several months ago can no longer commit to the price they originally quoted because of the surge in the price of raw materials. Because of this, remodeling projects often end up costing more than their initial estimates. With that in mind, homeowners should plan for unexpected expenses and additional costs for materials. Q: Can homeowners expect projects to be completed on time—or with a guaranteed delivery date? A: Simply stated—No. Here's why: Delays in supply chain Many factories that supply raw materials have been shut down all over the world. For example, Italy supplies slabs and marble. During the surge of Covid, many orders were put on hold, and shipments are delayed by months. Q: Why are so many people renovating now? A: Currently, there is an unparalleled surge in home construction in the US. Due to pandemic restrictions like the travel ban and the new work-from-home initiatives, homeowners are spending a significant amount of time in their homes. Homes are being used and adapted for work, school, and leisure. Because people are not going out they have more disposable income which sets their minds to the list of improvements they've been dreaming of making. Q: What is the bottom line for homeowners? A: Be prepared for more uncertainly. Be prepared for projects to take longer, to cost more, and to be more stressful. Home renovation/construction is emotional—especially during a pandemic. Now is the perfect time for homeowners to consider adding a Project Manager/Home Owner's Rep to their team. Someone who will act in their best interests and work hard to shield them from as much chaos and emotional turmoil as possible. Q: Now that people are starting to get their vaccinations and it feels like things are getting back to normal—can we expect things to normalize with construction projects too? A: As homeowners, it's important to recognize that even though things are starting to get back to normal, the impact on residential construction as described above will continue for several more months and possibly even though the end of the year. Set realistic expectations for the completion of your projects, carefully plan, and set aside a budget for unanticipated costs along the way.  If there are other trends you've seen or experienced—I'd love to hear what they are and how you're dealing with them. Be kind, be safe, be well— Ed

A home construction project is a roller coaster of emotions that many homeowners are not prepared for. Each stage of the construction project comes with its ups and downs—especially now.

Download our Homeowner's Emotional Rollercoaster Guide to help be prepared for what's to come.


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