In the aftermath of the COVID-19 lockdown, labor shortages and access to certain products affects numerous industries, including remodeling. Even so, after extra time at home and delays caused by the pandemic, there is high demand for home renovation projects.
If you’re planning a home remodel or construction project, consider these tips from professional remodelers to avoid frustration and ensure your vision comes to life.
DO RESEARCH AND PLAN AHEAD
Mapping out your project early and thoroughly can help you avoid delays. This is especially important when it comes to materials, said John Brown of Bliffert Lumber and Hardware. “The quicker a homeowner can make selections, the sooner we can get it on order and get it in,” Bliffert said.
Some contractors are adjusting the way they approach planning to offset delays. For example, selecting materials and finishes at the outset, instead of as you progress through the project like you normally would, may mean the materials are available when you need them. “The design process has really changed,” said Robi Kirsic of TimeLine Renovation and Design. “We’re still designing based on homeowners’ wishes and dreams, but we’re also modifying by providing options based on what’s available.”
KNOW WHERE YOU’RE WILLING TO COMPROMISE
Whether you’re able or willing to compromise often comes down to why you’re doing the renovation in the first place. “Some homeowners are specific about what they want,” Kirsic said. “They’ve been waiting for a long time to do this project and they’re not doing it to compromise. Others have a time constraint for one reason or another; they don’t have the luxury of waiting.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by others, who caution that you may be able to get an item you have your heart set on, but you may need to be willing to wait. “If you have your heart set on a certain bathtub, it might be a 6- or 8-month wait, but another one might be available sooner,” said Jason Hensler of Marvin Windows and Doors.
AVOID MAKING CHANGES
Once your plans are set and your materials have been ordered, avoid unnecessary delays by changing your project scope or material selection. In this environment, project timelines are extremely tight and even minor changes can create significant disruptions, especially if there’s a delay in obtaining different materials or your new ideas require a different crew that wasn’t already scheduled for your job.
CHOOSE A TRUSTWORTHY PARTNER
While these are unusual times, having a reliable contractor can make the project run more smoothly and help you feel more comfortable as the project progresses. “Use someone you trust, someone who is part of a reputable group like the National Association of the Remodeling Industry,” Brown said.
That way, if you encounter unexpected bumps along the way, you can be confident they will be handled professionally and appropriately. Brown encourages his teams to communicate early and often, which helps homeowners understand and trust they’re doing everything possible to keep the job on track.
Above all, understanding these are unusual times can go a long way toward a more successful project. “Patience will help it go a lot smoother,” Hensler said. “That may mean accepting longer wait times than you anticipated and a later completion date than you hoped.”
The sooner you get your project started, the sooner your contractor can start mapping out a project timeline. Find contractors in your area at www.RemodelingDoneRight.com.