As market forces have continued to shift and evolve – or deteriorate, as most of us have been experiencing for over a year now – it seems timely to report on current conditions and what expect when renovating a home today.

Historically, the planning and execution of a room or an entire home renovation has not changed much in the last 40 or 50 years, other than when the Internet has grown to allow wireless access. precedent to ideas, resources and products from around the corner to the world. That is, until the COVID pandemic affects supply chains in a way that is still unfolding and continues to affect normal processes and timelines. Patience, agility and tenacity are required in the face of market forces.

Sequence of steps before the pandemic

Before the pandemic, for remodeling and renovation projects, a licensed architect was usually the first step to designing and documenting the improvements, and working through the initial drawing phase.

until the end of the final

The next step would be to interview general contractors and possibly an interior designer. Between the general contractor and the interior designer, and possibly the architect, the budget for the project is worked out. Once a comfort level is established with the overall program and costs, a schedule is created.

The timeline has dates that trigger when all items should be purchased based on industry availability, production, and shipping standards. These items range from raw wood materials to tiles, plumbing fixtures, cabinets, light fixtures, and anything else one could imagine needed to populate the construction of a home.

The team typically targets purchases to arrive close to when they’re needed, so each item can be unpacked, inspected and installed soon after delivery. With this approach, any uncovered issues are more easily resolved, such as hidden shipping damage, as the window to discover and report a problem is typically between seven and 10 days. Shipping insurance is short term for this purpose. Product manufacturers aren’t thrilled to hear from a customer 30-60 days or more after something has been shipped.

Current market conditions

Rapid renovations and additions are unlikely to happen now, and likely not at least until 2022. Increased demand has created less supply. This situation is compounded by a labor shortage and limited infrastructure to produce more volume.

Here is what we are browsing more precisely:

• Qualified contractors are in high demand. So it’s usually a good plan to first secure them for an estimated start date and then complete the designs, specifications and budget to meet the contractor’s availability date.

• Many items normally in stock – such as appliances – have become very hard to find. Some brands don’t have dishwasher or washer and dryer availability for nine to 12 months. This is true all over the United States, and even outside the country. Now devices need to be ordered well in advance of when they will be needed, and so these decisions need to be made in advance. One year would be considered prudent.

Paint, the simplest of materials, is sometimes out of stock. This happened to me for my own house project. This forced a change to a darker color than intended. The colorant used in bases for lighter colors is running out due to higher demand. The paint store associate asked me what color I was interested in, noting that if it was too light they couldn’t mix it for days.

Expectations must meet and correspond to the moment. The frustration will only increase when you try to exert some control over things that outside forces affect. Good advance planning will help smooth out bumps.

Allowing a higher price contingency percentage, between 20% and 50%, will prevent cost increases from derailing a project. (Last year, in less than 12 months, we had three or four price increases from the same manufacturer due to increased raw materials and shipping costs. In the past, we don’t might not get a single price increase for two to three years from a manufacturer.)

Once the logistics are planned, the fun part of the project can begin. Create a before-after visual of removing old masonry on a chimney and replacing it with a custom color concrete chimney suitable for a larger screen size and hidden wires in the right place for this equipment. Photorealistic 3D planning software can easily show various options for kitchen cabinets. It helps to see what open shelves might look like compared to closed cabinets.

Small projects are still in the works that can make a big aesthetic improvement, like installing wood paneling on a sloped flat sheet metal ceiling. Don’t forget to reserve scaffolding equipment in advance. These are also rare.

Sherry Scott is a Certified Interior Designer, Professional Member of the American Society of Interior Designers, and owner of Sherry ScottDesign, 169 Main St., Los Altos. For more information, email [email protected]

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