There’s a great African proverb: “Tomorrow belongs to the people who plan.” This has always been true when it comes to building or remodeling residential and commercial spaces. If you want to optimize getting what you want when you need it, then the key is planning.
Now, the lesson of this proverb has become a “must-have” instead of a “good idea.” Why is that?
Four things have happened as the result of the pandemic that are putting a great deal of pressure on the design and building industries. That’s why we are advising clients to think about their projects as soon as possible. We are already locking down dates for clients in 2022 and 2023.
A PERFECT STORM
Here is the combination of the four factors – the perfect storm -- that make 2021 design planning a necessity for 2022 and 2023 builds.
1. Broken supply chain. There is a shortage of materials. Currently, everyone in the industry is experiencing difficulty getting materials made and shipped. That’s because of warehouse and factory shutdowns across every part of the building industry globally. Quite simply, COVID broke the supply chain. Contractors cannot build without materials.
2. Acute labor shortages. There was already a shortage of skilled labor in the building industry prior to COVID. It has gotten significantly worse. This includes a broad range of positions from the people responsible for detailing out electrical, mechanical and plumbing specifications to those who install. The industry is working on this issue by applying technology and increasing training, but it is a big mountain to climb. Contractors cannot build without skilled labor.
3. Pent-up demand by businesses. As businesses come back online – particularly in the restaurant and hospitality industry – owners are building and remodeling to create fresh looks and improve health and safety features for their employees and customers. Many projects that were on-hold in 2020 are back on the schedule. Additionally, favorable interest rates and available loans have made this a great time to build or remodel. Everyone wants in but materials and labor are limited, so getting projects on the books is vital.
4. Residential real estate surge. With an unprecedented demand for residential and multi-family housing, sellers are fixing up properties to get top value and buyers are remodeling to add their own style. Homeowners may need to set priorities about what they need versus what they want, as well as being realistic about timelines.
HOW YOU CAN WEATHER THE STORM
The number one thing you can do right now if you are thinking about a remodel or new build is to talk with a design firm. Specifically you need to connect with a designer who has full project management experience and a trusted team of contractors. This kind of design firm can analyze your needs, frame your project, and give you a realistic timeline and estimate.
You should get your project on the books. Just talking isn’t going to get you there in this supply and demand environment. You need to act by booking the project.
You should look for a design firm that is transparent in communications. Nothing is more frustrating than a company that promises but cannot deliver no matter what the reasons. A good design firm will be very upfront with you about anticipated delays and provide you with realistic timelines based, not only on past experience but also a clear and up-to-date understanding of what is going on regarding labor and materials shortages.
You should also look for a designer who has strong connections with local specialty contractors, artisans and makers who can provide customized pieces. Designers who value and specialize in high quality, custom furnishings often have a wide network of skilled artisans who may have more flexibility than larger manufacturers.
Sensory Six has the experience, knowledge, and networks to get you through the storm and create a renovation or new build that delights you beyond expectations. Call us today so we can collaborate together.