2022 is proving tough for all aspects of home renovation, from hiring contractors, to buying supplies. Here’s what to expect — and ways to cope.
If you have plans to renovate your home — or if you’re shopping for a fixer upper to buy, you might be wondering whether now is a good time to remodel or whether you should wait. The cost of many construction materials and home goods has increased and their availability has become more limited due to economic disruption caused by COVID-19. And, in some markets, a shortage of skilled construction labor can make it hard to find contractors. Both of these things can affect the timeline and cost of your renovation plans.
How much more you’ll pay and how much longer you might have to wait for supplies or skilled help depends on the size and complexity of your plans. But, with some planning and flexibility, you may be able to work around the supply issues, minimize them or scale back your plans until the global economy gets back on a more normal footing.
Here are some options:
Do a “temporary” remodel
A temporary remodel involves changing some small things to achieve big results. For example, if you were planning to replace tile on a backsplash in the kitchen, consider applying some peel and stick tiles until you can remove and replace the old ones. Paint is a simple fix that can transform space. Use paint in ways that make a space appear larger or paint your kitchen cabinets and replace the hardware to give it a fresh look if you can’t afford new cabinets. Look for small ways to brighten and refresh your space until you can tackle the bigger project.
Consider using salvaged and alternative materials
Salvaged materials are usually less expensive than new ones, and can often infuse a space with unique design elements you wouldn’t be able to find in off-the-shelf products at a hardware store. You may be able to find salvaged or reclaimed trim, cabinets, tile and other home improvement supplies at your local salvage business or on online forums where people sell and give things away. You also can switch up your plans for things like new flooring or fixtures to take into account what is currently available at a price you can afford.
Consider doing some of the work yourself
If you have the confidence and the skills to tackle some of your projects, you can winnow down the list of things you need to hire experts to do. Some projects may require specialty equipment, which you can rent or borrow from your local tool lending library or rental business in town. Unless you have a lot of experience in home renovations, you might make mistakes you’ll have to live with or hire a professional to fix later.
Wait and use the time to shop for deals
Some of the most expensive projects are the ones where you have to buy everything at once. Consider making a list and shopping around for deals instead. For instance, if you’re remodeling a laundry room, you could wait for September and October when washers and dryers typically go on sale. If you’re looking for window replacements, you might get a better price from a contractor during their slow time of year. Or if you’re replacing a boiler or furnace, you might get a better price in the off-season. If you’re working with contractors, see if they have time between their big projects to get to your smaller ones.
Postpone the project until costs come back down
This is the easiest option if you can live with the thing you’re planning to change. If you’re buying a fixer upper, make sure the house is liveable until you can get started on your remodeling plans.
As with everything home-related, there is no one answer for everyone. It’s your home. Do what makes you happy.
Source: May 10, 2022. https://www.zillow.com/resources/stay-informed/is-now-a-good-time-to-remodel/