The residential construction industry is setting sales records in 2021. Understandably, most reliable and reasonable contractors are booked up months in advance. In some specialties, like roofing, demand is off the charts and many roofing companies are booked over a year in advance.
Increased demand also brings price increases for the labor on renovations and new homes. Adding these labor increases to the skyrocketing costs of materials has increased overall construction costs by 20% in the past year.
Getting quality materials can be a challenge for contractors. For example, lumber quality is down while prices are way up. Getting straight moldings, and studs to work with can frustrate carpenters.
There is presently not enough shipping containers or dockyard workers to fill orders and unload the building materials in the United States. Many appliances are out of stock with no deliveries even scheduled. Lead times for windows and doors has tripled in some cases. In the cabinet industry, the most expensive custom cabinetry lead times have doubled, and the less expensive brands are sometimes out of stock.
The best contractors and kitchen designers manage these delays with extra organization. This means making sure that all the components for a renovation will be available when needed. When timed correctly progress on a renovation or new home can move forward without interruptions, and contractors don’t need to move on to other projects while they wait for materials and subcontractors to become available.
This means that the projects that run cost effectively and are completed in a timely manner don’t start immediately. Good scheduling means waiting until “all your ducks are in a row”. This is why patience on the part of a homeowner is particularly valuable right now.
Homeowners under normal conditions are often antsy and want to start their projects immediately. Even when common sense dictates waiting to get estimates or scheduling the job in an organized fashion. Now, with the added challenges, patience on the part of the homeowner can mean huge savings and projects that run smoothly.
The penalty for a lack of patience and organization can be great. Many of our callers complain that they can’t get contractors and cabinet dealers to even call them back or answer the phone. However, these same people will often tell us that they have already begun demolition before even designing their renovation, and that they must have materials immediately. It doesn’t surprise me that when some contractors or cabinet dealers get these messages, they aren’t calling people back. Or if homeowners show a lack of patience during an initial meeting, that the contractor doesn’t submit a bid.
The take-a-way in today’s construction climate is that patience is a virtue. Having patience will help you find good people to work with and will save you money, time and aggravation. Listening to honest advice is also especially important. The contractors and suppliers that are overly optimistic are telling you what you want to hear and are the very people that will frustrate you and waste your money.
Main Line Kitchen Design makes managing and organizing our kitchen projects our highest priority. And we give our customers the honest advice that they need, but sometimes don’t want to hear.
Let us do that for you!
Paul, Julie, Ed, Chris, Lauren, John, Anna, Tom and Stacia.