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Home Construction and Renovation Industry during the Pandemic

Please be patient with our industry

Home Construction and Renovation Industry during the Pandemic

The basic premise of this column, along with providing sound advice and new ideas, has always been to try to paint a picture of reality or, 'telling it like it is.' If the term, 'unprecedented times,' has started to lose its cache, I can assure you that it has found a new home in the renovation and home building industries.

What it appears we have a created, with the assistance of a pandemic, is a perfect storm that is going to be with us for a while. Here's what's happening ... renovator's phones are ringing off the hook with homeowners who have reevaluated their lifestyle and how they want to live in their private spaces. This may involve work from home offices or developing unused spaces to enjoy the home to a greater degree. Further, add to this what is being described as the hottest real estate market we have ever experienced. Those new buyers have their own modification wish lists, which means we should have a bonanza of activity in the residential marketplace, right? Not so fast.

What do we find when we turn the coin over in this unprecedented time to see how the industry is responding? I need to tell you, not well. Through no one's fault, the lingering result of all those months COVID-19 was keeping factory workers at home is that the industry is having a terrible time with simply getting supplies and materials. Plywood and OSB, if you can find it, is through the roof pricing and the old stack of 2x4's you have out behind the shed is now worth more than gold. We are being notified that plumbing supplies and fixtures could take up to 18 weeks for delivery. Anything made with glues and resins like shower bases, tubs, etc. are simply becoming unavailable. These same glues and resins are what's needed for making plywood and OSB, adding to manufacturer's inability to keep up with the demand. So, it's not just a matter of dealing with price increases. We simply are unable to source as much material as the marketplace is demanding right now. On top of that, the Manitoba Hydro strike is suspending all activities like call before you dig or gas inspections, which can both shut down the progress of a project.

If you're in the middle of a project right now and your contractor is having issues with their schedule, please be patient, as I'm sure they are doing the best they can. I just hope you hired a reputable good standing MHBA contractor who likely has forged long term relationships with suppliers. This is important because without it you are pretty much blowing in the wind.

I'm not sure how long this will last. It's akin to waiting to see when the next vaccine shipment is coming. The good news is that Manitoba enjoys and benefits from having some of the best renovators and builders in the country, so rest assured whatever can be done ... is being done.

Stay well.

 

HOME DÉCOR AND RENOVATIONS
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