Undertaking a home improvement can be a great option for saving money on the purchase price of a property and creating a personalized space that can be a real source of pride. For most people, however, a home improvement is a major undertaking, even under the easiest of circumstances.
Meeting with architects and contractors, understanding various proposals, choosing materials, and budgeting are time consuming and often beyond the wheelhouse of the average owner’s skills. With those plans and decisions made, renovations can be costly and disruptive, whether everything goes well or not. Even minor makeovers are proving more difficult than ever.
Planning for a home renovation in 2022 poses additional challenges, including delays in the supply chain, inflation and a shortage of tradespeople. Here are three things you need to know to make your home improvement experience as positive and productive as possible:
- Renovations require thought, patience and money.
- The price gap between renovated and non-renovated homes is widening.
- Four questions to ask yourself before renovating.
Renovations require thought, patience and money
According to interior designer Jamie Drake, co-director of New York-based interior design firm Drake / Anderson, “To renovate you need three things: thoughtfulness, patience and silver. While these three things have always been necessary to undertake a renovation of any size, these days it seems like you might need more of all three than you expected.
Thoughtfulness. The reflection “includes developing a set of plans for the renovation as well as presenting it to building management (or HOA) for approval,” Drake explains. This can include filing for permits with the city or county, or in the case of New York City. , as Drake notes, with the Ministry of Buildings.
In today’s climate, it is essential to plan ahead. “Previously, a contractor could order materials as the project progressed, as needed,” says Tanya Koul Strausbaugh, real estate agent at RE / Max Select and founder of Common Ground Investments, a redevelopment and rental in Pittsburgh. “Now, due to supply chain delays and escalating material costs, anyone renovating must wait until all materials are in place before starting the project. You should expect delivery delays, and it’s best to deal with them before demolition begins. Have the foreman check every part, right down to the last nail, before the project begins. You don’t want your kitchen to be ready, but with a gaping space between cabinets and counters while you wait for your oven to arrive.
Patience. With supply chain delays and labor shortages, it’s taking longer than ever. “Material delivery and approval processes are currently slower than before, as construction departments across the country are taking twice as long for approvals as they were before the pandemic,” Drake said. “And your favorite entrepreneur is probably very busy, so you have to stand in line. Moreover, the supply chain issues we all read are not an illusion. Everything from carpentry to plasterboard to household appliances is experiencing delays. “
Strausbaugh adds, “If you did a bathroom five years ago or a kitchen two years ago, now the timeline might be three to five times longer to complete. “
With patience comes the need for flexibility, in many cases. “Renovating today is a little different than it was in the past,” says Alexander Chingas of the Bross Chingas Bross team at Coldwell Banker Realty in Connecticut. “One interesting factor is the delay in obtaining building permits and appropriate approvals from building officials as work progresses on larger projects. This only added more time to the already extended deadlines.
Cash. Cash It’s also something you’ll need more than you realize, especially with delays and inflation. “Prices have gone up at all levels,” says Drake. “The best contractors are extremely busy and their prices reflect the fact that they can choose the projects that interest them the most. The cost of raw materials and the prices of household appliances have also increased. “
Strausbaugh explains, “In our Pittsburgh market, a cosmetic remodel that could have taken eight weeks now takes 19 or 20 weeks. “
For a property she renovated a few months ago, Strausbaugh says nine semi-custom doors for the interior of the home took 20 weeks to arrive from Ohio, compared to the usual five. “And three of the doors were the wrong size,” she said. “The normal error rate on an order like this may be 2%, but that 30% error rate seems closer to the ‘new normal’ in today’s construction world. “
The bottom line is also affected. “In New York City, for example, we would consider between $ 800 and $ 1,000 per square foot to be a generous amount for a high-end renovation,” says Drake. “We now often see prices as high as $ 1,500 to $ 1,600 per square foot. “
The price gap between renovated and non-renovated homes is widening
Renovated properties sell for more than those that need a good gut job. Buyers will pay more for a ‘just bring your toothbrush’ home and expect a discount if they have to invest thousands of dollars in updating the property. But with current supply chain delays, a shortage of skilled labor and escalating material costs, that gap has widened.
“We’ve definitely noticed a trend that favors properties that offer instant gratification,” says Chingas. “Newly built homes or homes that have been renovated to reflect the tastes of today’s buyers get the most deals and sell faster. “
Michael Mahal, registered architect and owner and director of MDG, a design-build firm in New York City specializing in bespoke design and build services for complex and luxurious renovations, says the home improvement market may be a little less competitive. “People are afraid of renovations right now, so there are a lot of opportunities to find affordable places that need updating. They don’t want to wait for the job to be done or take the extra risk, ”Mahal says.
Homebuyers should expect to pay a higher premium for a turnkey property and find larger discounts if they are willing to undertake significant remediation work. “Busy professionals are willing to spend more than ever on move-in properties due not only to their fear of renovation delays, but also the scarcity of renovated properties in the market,” Strausbaugh said.
That said, if you have the vision, the patience, and the budget, now is a great time to undertake a remodel, as a remodel can increase a home’s value for buyers today. “This is the perfect time to undertake a renovation. Properties that need renovations are less competitive as most buyers are looking for ready-to-move-in homes, ”says Mahal.
Four questions to ask yourself before renovating
While the construction and home renovations can be financed, most homeowners find that they need more money to cover the full cost of renovating their dream home. The hope is that after all the blood, sweat, and tears (and sawdust), they’ll have a home personalized to their own standards and tastes, even if that meant taking more savings or another loan.
But renovating is not for everyone. Here are four questions to ask yourself when considering whether you should buy a renovator:
1. Do you have the connections?
Do you know any architects, contractors, project managers and others in the construction industry? Can you find some that you trust? Hiring the right people can make all the difference. A project manager or general contractor can streamline the process and keep subcontractors on task and on schedule. “It’s important to find the right people,” says Mahal. “Sourcing and materials are a bit of a challenge these days, so you need more of an expert than usual. “
2. Do you have another place to live?
While you renovate, you may not be able to live in your place. Some people can go through a kitchen remodel or other aspects of a bowel job, but you can’t live without a bathroom. When budgeting for a remodel, remember that even if your new home is ankle-deep in plaster dust, you’ll likely have to live somewhere else, and that’s usually not free. Do you have the budget to transport two houses, or rent something economical while renovating? If a friend or close relative can accommodate you, it can be an opportunity to save money, but beware of the strain this could put on the relationship.
Even if you’ve done it before, going through a renovation can be more difficult than before. “People are working from home now more than ever and they can’t do their daily jobs while workers turn their homes into a construction site, banging in the kitchen and bathrooms,” says Strausbaugh.
3. Do you have the vision?
Be honest. Some people are just better at imagining a project and bringing it to fruition. If this is you, a home improvement project can be a creative outlet and an exciting and fun project. There is a better chance of success when you communicate with contractors and potentially manage part of the project yourself. Otherwise, it can be an overwhelming stressor.
4. Do you have the bandwidth?
The commitment to renovating a home is not small: it’s not just about hiring the right people, but also having the opportunity to visit the site regularly, take the time to purchase materials and appliances and make new decisions in the event of complications.
Being even more flexible with your budget and schedule is crucial. That said, “being smart with your budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise, it means you have to get creative,” says Mahal.
If you planned ahead, extended your timeline to account for potential delays, and left some cushion in your budget, the finished project could be better and more valuable than anything you could buy that was created by anyone. ‘another. As any expert will tell you, it’s hard to put a price on the pride that comes with a successful home improvement project, especially a large one.