What’s Going on with the Remodeling Market?
We are blessed to be living here in NC. It is a great place to live, raise a family, vacation, and own a business. The remodeling business is not easy. Sometimes I question whether I should have chosen another career, but hindsight usually keeps me from pondering that too long. If I wasn’t in this business, I would probably be a chef and own a restaurant. We all know how rough that business has been lately. I love my job and the work that we do, so I will stick with it. But, the challenges are many in this post(maybe) pandemic world.
On top of material shortages, we have natural disasters in several places around the world that are going to continue the supply chain disruptions. When most of the world was implementing “just in time manufacturing”, it made it ill-prepared to handle a shutdown of the entire world’s economy. Just in time manufacturing is built on the premise of not having inventory sitting on a shelf. That became a problem when demand rose and manufacturers were not making products that we needed. Hence, the toilet paper shortage is hitting several other commodities.
We are finding that some of our suppliers are starting to get caught up, but others remain woefully behind. Custom cabinetry, windows, and doors are still the most backlogged with production. That creates scheduling issues that we have to stay in front of as much as possible. Dimensional lumber is still multiples higher than “normal”, but plywood products and items needing resins are still at record highs. Our suppliers are still getting allotments – not everything they are ordering. Fortunately for us, we are not as dependent on large quantities of any one item. Remodeling projects tend to have more interior products since we aren’t framing a whole house. But I have to give some kudos to our team for using common sense scheduling to help optimize our schedules based on the shortages we are encountering. We have been able to move other portions of projects forward even when we are waiting on specific items to come in.
Sometimes we can switch to an alternative, and sometimes we have to delay a start of a project until we get a critical piece delivered. We try our best not to have a delay in the middle of a project. That being said, we have had some extended schedules, but not many. Thanks to our customers for having patience with us and the situation that we are navigating. We take each project’s scope and selections into account to create a realistic schedule, knowing that we may get a curveball thrown at us by a situation that arises. We try to be as flexible as we can and explain the options for resolution to our homeowners as they arise. Then we proceed with what is best for them.
Thank you to our entire team of subs, suppliers, homeowners, and employees for still achieving great success in these unusual times.