In recent years, the world has undergone a multitude of changes, and the home renovation industry is no different. Factors such as supply chain disruptions, project delays, and increasing costs have greatly impacted both new construction and ongoing renovation projects.  If you are planning to embark on a home renovation this year, it’s crucial to stay up-to-date with the current status of the industry. It’s so important to stay informed of the impact of inflation, availability of materials, and supply chain issues. And above all, be sure to budget and plan your finances accordingly.

Discussing potential home renovations with your local expert REALTOR® will arm you with the necessary knowledge to navigate your project, especially if your goal with this home upgrade is to increase the property’s value. They can provide valuable insights and strategies, and even connect you with contractors or other renovation specialists to help guide you. 

So, is a home renovation on your 2024 agenda? By staying updated on the current state of the industry, you can have a much smoother home renovation experience. 

How Much Do Renovation Materials Cost?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and FRED Economic data, the cost of construction materials has increased by about 0.5% in March 2024 compared to March 2023. As seen in the graph below, when the pandemic hit in 2020, the cost of materials increased at lightning speed and continued to grow over 2021 and early 2022, with prices beginning to dip in the latter half of 2022. While a steady incline was predicted to continue into this year, the cost rose only slightly between 2023 and 2024.

Ongoing Supply Chain Issues

In addition to higher costs, supply chain issues also play a big role in home renovation delays. With the continuing labor shortage in the construction industry, production and delivery of supplies have been impacted, affecting construction jobs across the nation. According to the Home Builders Institute, an estimated 2.2 million construction workers will need to be hired and fully trained within the next 3 years to meet the projected home renovation demand. 

As a result of the inflation and supply chain challenges, the delays in completing and even starting projects have significantly increased over the last several years, even before the pandemic flipped the world upside down. According to BuilderTrend, the average number of days that projects were delayed in 2018 was about 12.61 days, and by 2022, the average days delayed jumped up to 46.88 – that’s a 271% increase! We can only predict that these delays will continue to rise in the coming years, making it even more crucial to map out your renovation plans ahead of time. 

What You Can Do Before You Renovate

While the industry is facing the ongoing challenges of delays and rising costs, there are some steps you can take to alleviate the level of stress:

How to Be Prepared for Your Home Renovation Project

With increased prices, it can take some additional planning budget-wise to ensure your project stays on track. Whether you’re adding a deck, renovating your bathroom, completing a DIY project, or working with a contractor, make sure you fully understand the cost of materials, services, and other fixtures. Having your budget ready before you start the process will give you a good idea of what you can afford.  And of course, don’t forget your permits!

  1. Plan Your Budget. With the continuously rising costs of materials, be sure to carefully budget your project. Do your due diligence and research the required materials, hours of labor, and additional expenses needed to complete your renovation. Additionally, as mentioned above, staying up to date on the current cost of materials will help you budget and determine what you can afford. 
  2. Remember Your Permits. Before you begin any project, it’s vastly important to obtain the required permits that comply with building codes and safety standards. If you skip this step, you risk not only facing costly fines but potentially even more delays, as well as difficulties if you eventually list the home on the market. 
  3. Research Professionals. If you plan to work with a contractor or another home renovation professional, do your homework and thoroughly research reputable potential candidates. Of course, talking with your trusted real estate agent can provide you with valuable assistance in finding the right person or company for the job. 
  4. Plan for Potential Delays. As mentioned above, the industry is continuing to see an increase in delays in completing renovations.  Prepare yourself for this very possible occurrence and factor in additional time to avoid disappointment or hasty decisions.

You Can Even DIY Your Home Upgrades!

If you find yourself with additional time on your hands, a great way to save money and avoid the stress of undergoing a full upgrade, is to DIY your project! Once you learn how to bring your idea to life and collect your materials, you are the master of your domain.

  • Painting a room may take a day or two but is a relatively easy and inexpensive process. Choose your color, grab some brushes, and go to town!
  • Want a change from solid paint? Install your own beadboard, stick on some peel-and-stick wallpaper, or add character to any room with faux brick paneling. These easy and low-cost changes can give an out-of-the-box and modern look to your room.
  • Spruce up your windows! It’s amazing what some new window treatments can do for a room! Opt for bright curtains or blinds if the room allows – letting more light in overall can give the room a freshened look.
  • New lights and ceiling fans can bring new life to your space. By simply switching out these fixtures your room will have an updated feel overall.

It’s important to be patient and prepared during these unique times. As we move from spring to summer, high costs and limited material availability may continue to be a reality. However, by planning ahead and having a well-defined budget, you can be ready for any home project that comes your way. Planning carefully, communicating effectively with contractors and suppliers, and being flexible in decision-making can help you confidently take on your home project and embrace the exciting home improvements ahead!