Whether you have plans to add a new deck or renovate the kitchen, homeowners tackling renovation projects in the next few months can expect some delays.
Nationwide shutdowns — paired with unusually high demand over the past year — have resulted in lags in home improvement projects. Learn how to work around COVID-related delays and set a sensible timeline for your home renovation plans.
Set Realistic Expectations
As previously alluded to, there are considerable delays when it comes to home renovations right now. ‘There was a shortage for a long time for me. Perhaps I have to wait two weeks to get lumber that normally you get [the] next day,’ project manager Scott West tells Boston 25 News. Right now, West’s experience is par for the course. To set a home renovation timeline and stick to it:
- Work delays into your schedule. Boston 25 News recommends alloting 50% more time for home renovation projects. While this may be an adjustment for those with a fast-paced lifestyle, it is a necessary one. Suppliers and construction companies are experiencing delays across the board.
- Have a backup plan. Some delays may be longer than others. For example, it may take considerably longer to order big-ticket items, like appliances, lumber, and stone, than it takes to order other items, like decks, flooring, and wood coatings. Ask contractors upfront how long it will take to order essential items.
Keep the purpose of these items in mind. For example, coatings accomplish two things: protecting any given surface and adding to its aesthetic value. Pick out a few. If it will take too long to order one particular coating, ask if it will be faster to order your second choice instead.
Put Together Your Home Renovation Budget
The next step is to put together a budget, and — once again — experts suggest that it is wise to give it a little wiggle room. Not only are there currently delays when ordering materials, but those materials also cost more than they have in the past.
Plan ahead for all facets of your project, and be prepared to put some money down if necessary. Remember, if you are remodeling a kitchen island, it may entail the cost of replacing cabinets, installing new plumbing, ordering appliances, and adding lighting. The cost is not confined to the kitchen island itself.
Further, construction companies may ask for some funds upfront. These down payments help offset the costs of late payments and debts otherwise associated with the industry and help ensure that your renovation moves forward as quickly as possible.
Get It In Writing
After ironing out all the details with contractors and/or a construction company, get it in writing.
Contracts protect you and the contractor. These contracts will lay out the costs involved, the work to be done, and a rough schedule. While there may be some factors outside of contractors’ control, having a schedule in writing will help you and your contractors stick to your timeline as closely as possible.
Know What’s Involved In the Renovation Process
Another essential step to create a home renovation timeline and to stick to it is to know what is involved. If you are replacing an artificial stone floor with new, natural stone flooring, know the likely steps involved in the process. That may involve ordering materials, tearing up the old floor, tearing up old mortar, vacuuming up or otherwise disposing of old materials, applying new mortar, and placing the new natural stone.
Generally speaking, natural stone is much higher quality than artificial stone and it will last longer, but it is important to know all the steps it takes to install a new floor before creating your timeline.
With the right considerations, it is possible to create a home renovation timeline and stick to it. Keep the current delays and limitations of the industry in mind, set a budget, know all the steps involved, and sign a contract holding you — and the professionals you hire — to a schedule.