While 2021 brings renewed hope and optimism, it also brings the consequences of a wildly uncertain economic landscape and drastic changes to consumer preferences. If you’re thinking of starting a big (or even small) renovation this year, be prepared for changes in prices, timelines, and product availability. Unprecedented changes in lifestyle as a result of the pandemic—along with lower mortgage interest rates in 2020—have led to a substantial increase in demand for construction services. Planning and patience are vital, as is a flexible budget when considering a home remodel.
Growth of the Market
You may find that contractors are booked weeks or months in advance. Local builders entered 2021 with big backlogs of jobs, as homeowners had the time to look intently at their homes and see all the things they want to fix. Many owners of second homes who called New York City home base are now spending the majority of their time in the Hudson Valley region. In many cases, they are even making that second home their first home. Especially now that COVID-19 has made distance learning and working from home much more prevalent. Instead of spending money on travel and entertainment outside the home, we’re investing in our homes.
Residential starts in 2021 will rise 5 percent over 2020 in the U.S., according to the Dodge Construction Outlook. And the National Association of Realtors predicts a growth of 10 percent in existing-home sales this year, to 6 million. Home Depot reported $33.5 billion in sales for the third quarter of 2020. That’s $6.3 billion(23.2%) over the total for the same period in 2019 (27.2 billion). Lowe’s sales for the third quarter of 2020 were $22.3 billion, compared to $17.4 billion in the same quarter of 2019(28.15% Increase).
Pandemic-related uncertainties have also led to cuts in the production of materials. In turn creating supply-chain issues and product inventory shortages, which leads to home renovation delays. Contractors have seen the lead times for products like cabinetry, windows, and doors double and triple in some cases. Treated lumber, for example, was in very short supply early in the pandemic, as stay-at-home orders slowed production. With the huge spike in demand, prices for deck boards and fence posts more than doubled, and supply dried up.
In addition, COVID-19 has completely transformed the way we deal with safety issues and scheduling. Keeping workers – and homeowners – safe and healthy has never been more important. Renovation timelines are increasing, as a result. In line with CDC guidelines and protocols of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there will be fewer workers on the job and staggering shifts, in order to maintain social distancing.
The outlook is not all doom and gloom, however! There are some exciting things happening in the industry, and we look forward to helping you realize your dreams for your perfect home. Planning your home remodel in advance will help the project move along smoothly. Just keep in mind that the sooner you can make firm decisions and the more flexible your timeline and budget, the happier you’ll be with your renovations.