What You Need To Know About Renovating in 2021

Thursday Oct 28th, 2021


During the first couple of pandemic shut-downs, many homeowners tackled renovation projects in their homes, big and small. For the most part, tradespeople were deemed to be essential services so they were still able to enter your home and assist with creating home office spaces, re-wiring electrical, plumbing fixes, and creating your very own backyard oasis. As a result, contractors were booked up months in advance, access to materials became scarce and consequently, the price of certain items like wood went sky high due to supply and demand.

Fast forward to now, 19 months since we entered our first lockdown, what is it like to take on a renovation project? Elaine shares the lessons she has learned with her recent bathroom renovation:


The contractors that have been hammering away inside her home were hired back in March (and their first available date to start was now in October). While shopping for the materials that she needed, she found that things were still not readily available and the supply chain is still greatly affected by Covid-related delays in manufacturing and shipping. The original vanity she was eyeing was going to take 6-7 months to arrive from the supplier! To ensure that you are working with the tradespeople you want and to get the look/design that you are striving for, do your homework early, and plan your project well in advance.


With the shortage of available labour and materials, your timelines are certain to be delayed. Thinking that it was smarter to choose between items that were in-stock, Elaine ordered some materials online from one of the major home improvement stores. On the 2nd last day of the delivery window, she received notification that the item was on back order and the new delivery date was re-scheduled to December 28. Despite showing as available online, companies in the industry are simply having difficulties in managing their inventory and supply/delivery timelines are unpredictable for some items. You’ll need to anticipate that these hiccups may happen and try not to get discouraged. Renovations seldom are completed on time, especially now, however, by giving yourself a time buffer, you avoid having to rush or take short-cuts in order to meet deadlines.



Would another size tile or wood plank or light fixture work? Would you be okay with a different colour, different material or different style? Having a vision and trying to stick to one can be challenging with unpredictable inventory. As well, the one thing that would be a perfect fit for what you need can suddenly be more than what you budgeted for due to supply and demand. Working with a designer can help you explore and source other options, but being flexible with your budget and choices will also help with overcoming some of today’s renovation challenges. 


Besides these hurdles of renovating in today’s environment, keep in mind that doing your homework, working with trusted professionals and making neutral choices in design/finish will all come together to ensure one thing – an increase in the value of your home. So while you may have to keep your expectations for timelines and overall vision in check for your project, it is still a worthwhile endeavour to tackle. Keep your eye on the big picture - the increase in functionality, improvement in storage space, or modernization of your home will not only add monetary value, it will help you love and appreciate your home even more. 

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