Thursday, 05 August 2021 16:27

Builder’s Corner: Building and Remodeling Post Pandemic

By Lou Galarneau, President of Galarneau Builders | Home & Garden
Builder’s Corner: Building and Remodeling Post Pandemic

Now is a good time to build or remodel as interest rates are at historic lows hovering around 3% depending on your credit score. Building and remodeling inquiries are also on the rise as the housing shortage continues. The pandemic has affected the supply chain of goods and services in virtually every sector of commerce. Building goods and materials are no exception. But the good news is that it’s still very doable whether you are considering building a new home or a remodeling project. There are many scenarios playing out in a seller’s market as well. Building new and remodeling are trending because many people find themselves dissatisfied with the current real estate inventory. When people buy a home that is not exactly what they want they will most likely want to remodel it. For others this is the best time to take the leap and build from scratch. This ensures that you will get most, if not everything, on your wish list. Chances are that regardless of your preference, you may need to work with a builder. 

Building and remodeling are still thriving post pandemic but just know that the lead times are growing. As a society we’ve all had to make various adjustments throughout this pandemic. But the silver linings continue to show through. We’ve reimagined what a classroom, workplace and community all look like. We have learned to change our habits and expectations in almost all facets of life. We along with our clients have also had to make some adjustments in building and remodeling homes regarding client selections and lead times. Cabinets, counter tops, appliances, flooring, and plumbing fixtures are all taking extended times for delivery. Simply put it takes a bit longer now to build or remodel a home now. Our industry has reset pre-pandemic build times on a typical house from 150-180 days to now needing 60–90-day extensions in many cases due to supply chain lag times. For example: Most Cabinet brands made in the USA were arriving in a five-week timeframe. Now we’re looking at approximately 15 weeks for delivery. Appliances that were once delivered in five to six weeks are now requiring 12–16-week lead times.  We’re working closely with clients to reset expectations and ensure that materials are ordered immediately to make those extensions as short as possible. 

Another challenge we worked through was the increased price of lumber at the height of the pandemic.  Thankfully lumber prices are coming down slightly now. Although they may not come down to pre-pandemic levels it’s reassuring to see the prices trending downward. We will continue to work with our clients to plan for the increase or redesign and/or adjust selections to stay within budget.

The pandemic has undoubtedly created challenges in all sectors of life with few exceptions. The silver lining is that we have all established a “new normal” in our lives. The building and remodeling industry is still thriving and ever evolving with newly established expectations. Don’t be afraid to build your dream home. Now is truly the time!

- Lou Galarneau, President Galarneau Builders

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