Over the past decade, DIY has become the go-to for tons of people worldwide, with lots of blogs and YouTube channels cropping up. However, experts warn that, in the wake of the coronavirus, everyone should expect delays, high prices, and more obstacles on their home improvement and DIY projects. Read on to find out why…
Say Goodbye to DIY
While DIY projects have boomed in the past decade, they truly took off during the pandemic. After all, many around the world stayed at home, looking for things to do. Not only that, but low interest rates have made financing a home easier than ever, which boosted the demand for houses. As a result, many millennials picked up fixer-upper homes – the only ones they could afford – also driving up the DIY and home improvement market. Finally, DIY is a great time killer for those in lockdowns. However, DIY projects may turn into bank account killers.
Why? Well, for some of the exact same reasons! First, as lower interest rates have made financing a home easier than ever, they have also made building a house or adding an extension easier. All this has caused the cost of almost all building materials to rise. Meanwhile, the pandemic has caused never-before-seen labor shortages, supply-chain disruptions, and massive manufacturing delays, also resulting in high prices and huge delays. All these problems have combined making it incredibly challenging for contractors or DIY-ers to complete the final project.
So, what can you do? Well, experts have a few tips for those who still want to complete that remodel project this year…
Tips for Home Owners
First and foremost: if you’re set on completing a project this year, expect delays and roll with them. In a recent survey of contractors by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), 94% said they had difficulty finding appliances, 90% said they had problems finding lumber, and 75% said they had trouble acquiring vinyl siding. And it might be some time until these are readily available again. Supply disruptions of regularly used goods, like resin, have backed up nearly every aspect of the construction industry. “Resin production was interrupted with the winter storm that affected the Texas area. And that’s having follow-on effects … for example, outdoor furniture cushions, which are now in short supply,” Robert Dietz, the chief economist for the NAHB, explained.
Mike Bellaman, CEO of Associated Builders and Contractors, agreed, saying, “Ninety-nine percent of construction companies are small companies that may not have the ability to do that and are really feeling the crunch.” So, if you can hold off on that project, or flat out buy instead of DIY, it’s suggested you do so. However, if the job needs completion as soon as possible, Dennis Gehman, the president of the National Association of Remodeling Industry, says to interview potential contractors about their ability to store materials. He says that professionals with large warehouses should have the foresight to order materials in advance.
“For a contractor who is doing their job well, it’s not only the craftsmanship or the trade skills,” Gehman explained to USA Today. “But they need to have the business acumen and service to be aware that people are living there in the home, and to have a kitchen or a bathroom space that’s torn apart and just sitting there, that would not bode well, if was happening to them.”