Remodeling Surge Battles Supply Shortage, ROI Challenges. Here’s Why

by Julie Trunzo

As people across the country are closing in on almost a year spending more time at home, remodeling is on people’s minds. Second bedrooms are transforming into offices, bathrooms are expanding with second sinks and increased storage spaces, and kitchens are getting center island upgrades and updated cabinets. However, the COVID-19 pandemic led to construction supply shortages that could delay these remodeling projects. Alternatives are emerging to get the job done and keep ROI high. Here is a snapshot of the situation if you are looking to remodel and sell your home in 2021.


Remodeling is on everyone’s minds, leading to a supply that can’t keep up with demand

If you haven’t already planned your renovation for 2021, you might want to act fast. In a typical year, contractors are busiest in the spring and summer and you can usually save on

materials and labor between October and March. But 2021 is not typical in so many ways, and  many contractors are already booked out well into 2021. Agents across the country are cautioning people to seriously consider the lifespans and serious interest for home renovation projects that might be appealing during the pandemic, but yield a low ROI, such as a pool, hot tub, sauna, or all out home gym.


Lumber prices are on the rise, but there are alternatives

Upgrading outdoor spaces, such as with a deck remodel, is high on homeowners’ lists for 2021, but limited lumber supplies are making this a challenge. A report from the real estate experts at HomeLight about renovations during COVID-19, revealed that lumber prices have risen by 150% since mid-April. Agents in the survey said that for a solid ROI and potentially better availability of supplies, go for composites, which are made from recycled plastic and wood, and are lower maintenance and longer lasting than wood.


Low supply for most wanted resources

Lumber isn’t the only commodity experiencing a bottleneck, some of the other most commonly used resources for remodels are also hard to come by. The items on the list point to the remodels that are top of mind, and include limited labor supplies (according to 53% of agents), waiting times for appliances (51%), and backlogs for windows and doors (30%). Agents across the board recommended hiring your contractor as soon as possible and ordering items the moment you know you are embarking on a renovation project, to try to avoid possible delays. 


Keep an eye on your permits

Even if you have all of your supplies ready, if you don’t have your permits lined up, you might experience unexpected delays without a greenlight to begin the work. Lags could be due to reduced city office work hours for processing as well as the increased demand in your region. On average across the nation, 26% of agents said permits were delayed, but those numbers may be higher depending on where you live, such as 41% of agents in the Pacific who said permits are on hold.


While there might be extra challenges to remodeling, planning ahead can be your best strategy to keep your project on track, and in 2021, the faster you act, the better. 

Published on 2021-02-15 12:11:21