What to expect if you are planning a renovation this year

Spring is here!

What a year and winter we have had, am I right?!

I’m sure you have heard by now that the construction and design industry is booming. There is such a high demand for in home renovations because we are all spending more time in our homes.

I guarantee you’ve looked at an area of your home and said to yourself:

  • “how can I make this space look better?”
  • “I need to improve this because it’s just not working!”
  • “If I’m going to be working remotely from home, I need more functional space.”

This past year has been unprecedented and some industries are flourishing while others are struggling. Covid-19 has affected everyone in one way or another.

I am very grateful that I was able to continue to work with my clients remotely throughout the pandemic to support myself. That is not the case with many small business owners in Ottawa.

If you are considering tackling a renovation this year, I want to share with you what it has been like navigating in the design and construction industry during COVID… based on what I have experienced personally with my vendors and contractors.

As a designer, I can come across some challenges during any renovation process; however, this pandemic has introduced a whole new set of challenges.

a) Timing

I can’t stress this enough. Good contractors are booking a minimum of 6-12 months in advance. If you are contacting designers and contractors for kitchen renovations that you plan to commence this summer/fall – most likely there is no availability. Realistically at this time, you should be considering a 2022 renovation.

b) Product availability

Product availability is also becoming an issue. There are delays in stock and the pricing is constantly changing. Therefore, I recommend that you should have your products ordered at least two-three months PRIOR to your renovation start date.

I happened to be speaking with one of my suppliers earlier this week and they mentioned that stock for plumbing piping is running out. Venders are simply not able to fill the demand.

If you are looking to purchase furniture – get ready to wait months.

c) Costs

The cost of construction materials and all products have significantly increased; therefore, the cost of renovations is now much higher. Supply and demand.

I’m sure you have all heard about the increased cost of lumber and drywall!

d) Budget

If you have an idea of your overall budget for your project – increase it OR you will have to adjust your expectations and reduce your scope/wish list. Over the last few months, we’ve seen at least a 20-25% increase in all construction/renovation costs.

The world of custom designed bathroom renovations for $15-20K and custom kitchen renovations under $50K are over!

$200/sf for construction/build costs are long gone! Approximate construction costs per sf are not guaranteed as the industry is unpredictable during these times.

If you speak to anyone in the industry – suppliers, contractors, designers, etc. – none of us have ever seen anything like this. It’s unbelievable.

My recommendation is that you spend 2021 designing and planning your larger renovations projects, such as kitchens, additions and new build construction, to line up your contractor for 2022. Smaller projects such as bathrooms, exterior and smaller interior renovations you might be able to lock in a contractor for the end of the this year in Q4.

My intentions are not to scare anyone or discourage you from any renovations. I am hoping to inform you of all these new challenges in the industry so that you are aware and are not surprised when you encounter these issues.

Renovations are stressful enough.

If you have any questions or are thinking about planning a renovation during these times, please feel free to send me an email, I’d love to provide you with information of what I’ve experienced in this industry over the past year.

Thank you for supporting a local solopreneur during these challenging times. Even during the past crazy year, I still love what I do and love helping my clients design their dream homes.

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