Material price increases, product delays and subcontractors in high demand — remodelers are experiencing pressure from all sides at the moment. Choosing products early, seeking advice from your builder or designer, and being flexible with your selections are key to keeping your budget in check and your project on track.
The Impact Of Price Increases On Projects
The price rises have affected renovations enormously. Projects that are valued over several million dollars can take two years plus for the build. Building materials, deliveries and trades have gone up about 35% in the last 2 years.
The increase in interest rates and in products and materials is changing the renovation and building industry. Rather than choosing just one product supplier for a project, which was previously often the norm, most clients now want two quotes, giving them the option to choose more cost-effective products.
International shipping delays, the tripling of container prices and port fees, and a drop in raw material supply have all contributed to a rise in project costs. Locally, delays due to lockdowns and transport issues, along with reduced staffing capacity, have also played a significant role.
Price rises have impacted the overall build and renovation costs for homeowners, which flows down to the budget for finishes and fixtures. Builders have had to adjust the materials they might typically use in favor of comparable products that are more reasonably priced and accessible. For example, if an Italian tile had been your first choice, maybe tiles that are available locally are more reasonably priced and have a shorter lead time.
How To Keep A Lid On Project Costs
◦ Work closely with your builder and engineer during the design phase to limit additional costs. This allows you to get input on all aspects of the design.
◦ Find a builder and book a spot in advance with a good lead time between signing the contract and build commencement. Waiting means your builder can plan and book trades and order materials in advance.
◦ Choose fixtures early like appliances, windows, doors and plumbing fixtures so they are available and ready in time for the build. Making selections at the last minute will often mean less choice, higher costs and poorer-quality items.
◦ Buy and source materials locally and domestically to reduce waiting times.
◦ Choose ready-made cabinets, bathroom vanities rather than having them custom-designed. A large number of companies produce attractive off-the-shelf products at a fraction of the cost of custom styles. They are limited in sizes, but a good designer will make them work in your space.
◦ Be flexible so you can pivot and adapt to changes, price increases and delays with an alternative plan or substitution.
◦ Work with experienced designers who knows the best products at the best prices and who understands warranties and where to purchase them. Using an designer will ensure you can avoid estimates from your builder for specifications that you can have a fixed-price contract on, which avoids variations.
◦ Be patient on the timelines of your project. This allows your builder to get multiple trade quotes and means you’re less likely to be stuck paying a premium price for super-busy trades.
◦ Stage your build. Work with your builder and establish whether nonessential work, such as nonessential cabinetry, can be completed at a later time.
◦ Consider a smaller initial remodel but work with an architect or building designer to create a master plan that can be executed at a later stage. Staging a build doesn’t mean the project is less expensive overall –—in fact, it often means the project will cost more in the long run — but it can enable homeowners to get some of the most urgent work done in manageable pieces.
◦ Be open to sharing some of the price increases with your builder. This can help your builder finish the project and not feel pressured to cut corners.