How To Survive A Home Renovation In 2021

ByMarc Silberberg


Many people in the United States are now vaccinated and are beginning to get out and enjoy the warm weather. Along with all the outdoor fun come long days of summer which usually don’t end until 9 PM. What do people do with all that time while still being productive? Many of these folks are investing in their homes and yards to make it more comfortable to live in for themselves and their families. Over the course of the pandemic our homes have become a 24/7 headquarters for our family, our work, and our recreational lives. With that, home sales have soared and there is a shortage of both new and existing homes on the market. Those who are looking to sell are taking advantage of the market and asking for a ridiculously high price. As per those who have a nice home, they are looking to renovate and make it more suitable for a post pandemic lifestyle, which means being at home more often. Schools and employers seem to be quite comfortable with the idea of telecommunication and will probably make it a commonality in the future. 

Besides for your family benefiting from improved living conditions, home renovations actually add value to your home. This is why it’s a fantastic idea to pick a project and head to the local supply store to get the supplies you will need for your next home renovation. Unfortunately, you and the rest of the world seem to be having the same idea which is why there is a supply shortage of construction materials. Contractors are forced to spend more money on supplies and need to make price corrections on project costs. Home renovations in 2021 are complicated and there are some points you will want to consider before heading to the store or hiring a contractor.

Making Sure That Your Contractor Is Licensed & Insured

Before even considering hiring a contractor for your next home renovation you want to be 100% certain that they are licensed and insured. Even if they have excellent online reviews and were recommended by a friend you need to make sure that they will be liable for their work and won’t walk out on you in the middle of a project. You also want to have everything written out in a contract and document who will be responsible for price increases on building supplies. Homeowners need to be aware of the many changing variables in the current market that can impact the cost and completion time of your home renovation. 

Even if you choose to do the home renovation by yourself and are outsourcing items like insulation, you need to be certain that the company is licensed and insured. This past October a couple who was renovating a barn requested an estimate from a trusted company to insulate the structure with spray foam. Before accepting the offer the couple did their due diligence to verify that the insulation company was trusted and recommended. Turns out that the newly renovated barn was left a mess when the serviceman had used the wrong type of foam and not installed it correctly. It was only after the homeowners did an inspection of what was going on inside the barn that they found globs of uneven sticky foam all over, even on door wiring and asphalt. After seeing this disaster the couple asked the serviceman to leave and brought in another spray foam company to evaluate the damage and repair. The cost for cleanup and reinstallation of the proper spray foam was $70,000 and there was no insurance company available to make a claim. If the couple would have hired a contractor with insurance they would have been able to submit a claim to the insurance company and get compensated for the damage.

Dealing With Building Supplies Increased Pricing & Shortages 

Anyone who is in the business of home renovations has been dealing with the issue of not being able to get lumber for a few months already. If they are able to get their hands on lumber the price has skyrocketed due to the shortage. Homeowners who are looking to renovate their kitchen or bathroom should first do their research to check if the products are available prior to beginning the project. Only after you have secured the building material for the makeover that is when you should begin the project. In most DIY projects, you anticipate being able to pick up the item that you are missing at your local home improvement store. Don’t assume anything for at least the next 12 months. You need to be certain the products are available for you to finish your project.

Besides the problem of not being able to aggregate the building materials for your next project, the cost becomes an issue as well. According to Bankrate.com, the cost for home renovations has increased by 50% and does not seem to be going down anytime soon. Based on the 2019 average cost of a small kitchen makeover at $11,000, in 2021 the cost will start at $16,500. It’s really something that homeowners need to think about prior to taking on their next home improvement project. The only question is, can you wait two years for costs to be regulated? 

When Will The Cost Of Lumber Go Down?

As we reach the threshold of dissuasion (when consumers are not willing to pay such a high price) the supply and demand issue will begin to stabilize. This is due to the high pricing which discourages consumers from purchasing. Lumber and building materials will begin to free up for those who are willing to pay higher pricing, allowing for their wood projects to move along. Currently, in Canada, when an order for 10 container loads of lumber is made, the customer receives only two since there is simply not enough wood to go around. 

For the time being consumers should anticipate another price increase due to the multiple price corrections that had already occurred in just the past few months. That means if you want to do a project that requires lumber get it done sooner than later. Ultimately what should happen is that at the end of the summer the price will peak and begin to fall when autumn comes around. By that time many of the supply chain issues will have been fixed and orders will be able to be fulfilled in an economic and timely fashion. Even as the pricing begins to decrease in the fall time it will still take a couple of years to completely normalize. Each homeowner needs to ask the question if their home renovation can wait until pricing gets back to normal.

Choosing Home Improvement Projects Where Products Are Available & Costs Are Stable

If you’re the type that looks forward to the summer to do a home renovation don’t be discouraged. There are still plenty of home improvement projects that can still be done since there is plenty of product available at normal costs. These projects will add value to your home and can be quite fulfilling as well.

Painting The Home’s Interior: The interior of your home can always use a paint upgrade and there is plenty of paint on the market at very reasonable prices. Painting the rooms in your home will give them a fresh new look that adds value to your home. Maybe you might want to just repaint the moldings or go over scratches, painting really adds a lot to your home and is still a safe project to do this summer.

Staining Your Deck: Upgrading your deck by sanding it down and staining it is another good idea to do this summer. There is plenty of deck staining on the shelves and it can add a lot to your backyard. Alternatively if your deck is not too old, you can power wash it to remove the dirt giving it a fresh new look.

Upgrading Your Landscaping: When people are looking to buy a home they will spend hours searching through homes on Zillow and view the ones that have the best curb appeal. When you take the time out to improve the landscaping in the front of your home it can add a lot of value to it. True it says “don’t judge a book by its cover” but people do judge a home by its curb appeal. The plant and tree nurseries are open and fully stocked with plenty of items that can improve your home’s landscaping.

Replacing Your Front Or Patio Doors: One of the many items that take a beating are the doors to your home. Whether it’s your kids slamming them on their way out to day camp or the wood getting scratched from your keys, it may just be the right time for an upgrade. There are plenty of options to choose from and swapping out the front or patio door can really give your home a nice appeal.

Final Words

Hopefully you have gained some insight into what’s going on in the world of lumber and building material. If you do choose to go ahead with your home renovation this summer it would be wise to have an air duct cleaning after the renovation. With any home construction comes saw dust and drywall dust which can get into your air ducts. Once in the ducts it can get redistributed throughout the home and negatively impact the home’s air quality. 

Home renovations can be satisfying and add value to your home. The only thing is that this summer you need to be in tune with product availability and project costs. It will take some time to normalize but there are still many other options of adding value to your home. Always make sure you have enough material on hand to complete the project. One of the positive items that came out from the pandemic is the reunification of family being together at home which is why homeowners are looking to enhance that setting. Wishing you the best of luck on your summer home renovation in 2021. 

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