The Bay Area is in a construction and remodeling boom that is not likely to end any time soon. This leads to the question: When to remodel? Strategically timing a home renovation to avoid shortages and delays is a challenge for many of today’s homeowners.
When to Remodel: Issues Facing Homeowners
Timing a remodel has more factors than many homeowners realize. Summer may seem like the obvious time to start a renovation project, due to consistent weather and school schedules, however, many other homeowners will also have the same idea. There is typically a higher demand for contractors and building supplies during the summer months.
Consider the battle for supply and demand. The best time to procure materials and services is when they are in low demand. This is true for construction supplies and contractors, as well.
There used to be a time of year for hiring contractors. The pandemic changed that and we’re still experiencing tremendous competition for the best contractors. Homeowners once could get a better deal waiting for contractor’s down season. Not anymore. It can be difficult to find an available contractor, or even workers year round.
If you want a specific, talented contractor to build your remodeling project you need to prepare in advance, anticipate long waits and deposits to hold your place. Anyone that’s readily available these days could be overpromising and under-skilled.
Supply Chain Issues
Post pandemic syndrome refers to the chain of events that caused many supply chain issues in the world since the Covid-19 pandemic started. The construction industry experienced shortages of many essential construction materials. And, their prices increased due to the low supply and high demand.As a port town, San Francisco is no stranger to shipping bottlenecks. The high demand for construction materials caused congestion in many U.S. ports, leading to delays in construction material delivery. However, the Port of Long Beach in Southern California is often the first port for U.S. deliveries. From there, they need to travel by rail and truck.
There is a constant supply and demand battle, especially for construction materials in the Bay Area. A high demand for a small supply of lumber has been an ongoing issue.
About twenty years ago, lumber supplies dwindled due to wildfires and insect destruction. While all other industries slowed or stopped at the beginning of the pandemic, the construction and remodeling business increased, as people spent more time at home. A desire to enhance their home experience, or optimize space for home offices and schools, created a construction boom. Lumber, as one of the most basic construction materials, was in high demand. The demand for a product that was already experiencing a shortage caused lumber prices to skyrocket.
Lumber isn’t the only construction material that is in short supply and high demand. Builders also report shortages or delays in appliances, doors, and fixtures, to name a few. Factor in time for shortages and delays. Pick a backup choice, and even another backup choice for fixtures, appliances and cabinets, in case there is a shortage for your first choice.
Planning When to Remodel in Advance
The pre planning phase of a construction project is often the most important. Talk to your architect and designer about the best timeframe for your remodel project. They will understand the current supply and demand situation.
Experienced homeowners in the area will attest that the best plan today is:
- Get your drawings and plan in place;
- Find and reserve your contractor;
- Have them order all building materials immediately and store them for your build;
- Order all your appliances now and store them until your contractor is ready to install;
- If moving out, plan to be out of your home longer than you think.
This requires funds in place now as you will be paying for your architect, permits, deposits, materials, and appliances months before you will begin your remodel. If your contractor doesn’t have storage, your garage may need to be used for that. Be sure to have an alarm system and cameras in place. Construction sites are easy pickings for thieves.
What You Need for a Smooth Remodel
A low-stress, timely home renovation is possible. This begins in the planning phase. Choose an architect and designer that you trust to oversee your project from beginning to end. With the right professionals in your corner, you can accurately determine your budget, plan for financing, understand materials, find the best contractors, and ensure that your home renovation meets your interior design vision and your needs.
At Drafting Cafe Architects, we understand the challenges of home remodeling, from one room projects, to full-scale renovations. Contact us today to get your dream home underway.