Even before COVID changed the world, the remodeling industry faced a significant rise in demand. As homeowners spent an escalating amount of time at home working, going to school, and learning to enjoy life in our new normal, home values hit the roof. In fact, the demand for every type of remodel has surged over 100% in many markets.
To meet such unprecedented demand, the industry is changing in front of our eyes. If you are like many Chicago area homeowners, you are taking advantage of the lower interest rates and realizing your dream of a larger home, new kitchen, master suite addition, home office or stunning exterior makeover now. As you get started on your remodel, you need to be equipped with the most current information.
Here are answers to a few typical and significant questions to help ensure you have a positive home remodeling experience.
What products have been impacted by the rise in demand?
Most manufacturers are seeing a historic rise in product demand, extending lead times for windows, siding, garage doors, cabinetry, and appliances. Some of these businesses are having difficulty securing parts or they are experiencing employee shortages, making it difficult for them to increase production to meet this surge in demand.
How do I cope with product delays?
Some or many of the items required for your renovation will have an increased lead time. The best way to guarantee that these delays do not affect the final outcome of your project is to work with a trusted professional with exceptional vendor relationships.
Many vendors are informing their preferred client base weekly, if not more often, on shipping times. Some appliance dealers are sourcing temporary products, while clients wait on longer lead time items like microwaves and certain cooking and refrigeration products. A practical remodeling company will employ scheduling software that has the ability to react and adapt the movement in the supply chain.
Having an open dialogue with your contractor is crucially important, ensuring you don’t begin the project before you’re ready. You may want to begin work on your new kitchen as soon as possible, but it’s better to trust an approved schedule so you are not sitting in an empty kitchen waiting for cabinetry to ship.
Why am I waiting so long for somebody to come see me?
You have probably been thinking about your project for quite some time. You might even have waited for the perfect moment to put your project in motion, and now you are nervous. That’s entirely understandable. But now is not the time to become over-anxious and pick a company just because they can start tomorrow.
In fact, a decent remodeling firm will have a bottleneck of projects right now. If they don’t, they may be a company that is trying to exploit the market without having the experience to deal with current market demands. You really don’t want your project to be handled by someone not experienced in the industry, especially during this time of unpredictability.
Instead, now is the time to hold onto your dream, the one you’ve envisioned for a long time, and accept and enjoy the process. And most importantly, get the job done right while working within your fixed budget.
I’ve heard that prices are increasing, should I wait this out?
The primary material in home building/remodeling that fluctuates with the market is lumber. The good news is that the volatility in the lumber market from early 2021 is finally stabilizing, and lumber prices are starting to drop. The end-user should be seeing this drop in overall wood costs by this winter, so no need to wait.
Historically, most manufacturer’s price increases happen yearly based on market demand and production costs. In this current high-demand market, most manufacturers are carefully assessing labor and product costs to ensure the least amount of increase possible.
Types of Kitchen Remodels and Their Costs: Cosmetic, Remove & Replace, Custom
Homeowners these days are spending more time at home, and especially in their kitchens. Beyond cooking at home more often, the pandemic has changed the way we buy, store and prepare food. We are also re-evaluating certain aspects of our lives with focus on maximizing health and wellness. This makes us see our kitchens through a different lens, especially as we’re looking to create an ideal environment for our families to thrive during this public health crisis and well beyond.
If you are considering a kitchen remodel, you’re probably curious about a lot of the details. With so many variables to consider, we want to provide you with some answers—a budget range you can expect, depending on the size, scope and quality of materials.
Cosmetic: $25K – $60K
A cosmetic remodel is your entry-level renovation. If you’re looking to refresh your kitchen but have a more limiting budget, this would be your choice. A cosmetic remodel keeps the layout, plumbing, and electrical in place. In this price range you would not remove any walls and stock materials are the go-to products. Typical updates include:
- Paint or resurface existing cabinets and add new hardware
- Replace countertops with a standard granite or quartz material
- New plumbing fixtures – basic, same location
- New light fixtures – basic, same location
- New appliances – basic, same location
- Re-paint entire room
Working with a qualified designer will help ensure you choose the best materials and color selections to get the best value and end up with a beautifully refreshed kitchen.
Remove and Replace (Mid to Upper Range): $60K – $120K
A mid-to-upper range remodel is perfect for anyone finding themselves in need of a more substantial upgrade. This type of remodeling generally includes reworking the kitchen layout and may consist of relocating non-structural walls. More often than not, it won’t involve relocating any plumbing, electrical, heating, ventilation, or HVAC.
By working with a reputable contractor, you should be able to reconfigure your space to house much-needed storage, a new island, or update your old layout. With a mid-range budget, you might also have the chance to design custom wellness features into your space. These might include new touchless faucets, an upgraded ventilation system, higher-end appliances, etc.
Mid-to-upper range remodels often include:
- Replacing all existing interior finishes
- Removing walls to open up the floor plan
- Replacing cabinetry with semi-custom
- New plumbing fixtures – wide range of options
- Installing new, solid surface countertops – wide range of options
- Adding new appliances – high quality brands
- Adding ceramic tile backsplash
- Updating lighting fixtures with new lighting plan
- Adding new flooring
A deluxe remodel is fit for a professional chef, as well as just about anyone who wants a kitchen designed to suit their every need. These modern kitchens are highly functional, architecturally detailed, and custom-designed. Materials and craftsmanship are of the highest quality. These kitchens are typically larger (either the existing area is large, or it requires building out additional square footage), and often incorporates other rooms into the remodel.
When it comes to designing health and wellness features into a custom kitchen, your options are endless, limited only by your budget. For example, you might consider designing a large climate-controlled walk-in pantry into your space, hands-free or voice-activated appliances, specialty fixtures, or countertop and flooring materials that are more sustainable and non-toxic.
Custom remodels often include:
- Extensive space planning to incorporate custom features that don’t currently exist
- Removing walls to open up the floor plan
- Relocating mechanicals (plumbing, electrical, HVAC, etc.)
- Installing custom cabinetry
- Installing new, solid surface countertops (stone)
- Installing custom or high-end tile
- Incorporating custom lighting options – LED, undercabinet, innercabinet
- Adding architectural details such as crown moldings, built-ins, and fireplaces
- Adding higher-end appliances and high-tech gadgets
Can You Remodel a Home in the Winter?
Absolutely! Even with the freezing temperatures, dropping fifteen degrees below zero, Barts Remodeling crew has muscled through some of the most turbulent weather patterns.
You might be wondering how were we continue work in such inclement weather. First of all, without the character and resolve of our talented tradesmen, we wouldn’t be able to.
Secondly, we take special precautions to protect the home during construction—At the beginning of every project, we openly discuss expectations throughout the project with the homeowner, to include dust protection, a designated point-of-entry for our field staff, designated parking areas, location of the dumpster, the portable restroom, etc. During this time, there is a determined effort to safeguard areas of the home that are not enduring construction, whether or not the homeowners live in the home during construction.
How do you handle fumes and dust when you can’t open the windows?
When a homeowner is still living in the home, we make sure to set up outdoors as much as possible. This lessens the amount of dust and debris in the home considerably. Fumes from paint and hardwood floor finishes can be toxic, especially during wintertime months when windows can’t be opened to adequately ventilate the room. In most cases, the homeowner decides to stay in an alternate location for a day or so during this finishing phase.
How do you keep the house from freezing?
We keep the electrical and heat going in the home, even if the homeowner moves out, to operate our power tools and to ensure pipes do not freeze.
How do you avoid interior moisture damage if you’re working on an addition (roof is exposed)?
Each day, our job sites are completely covered from the elements. Large plastic tarps are used to keep rain and snow out of the exposed portions of the home.
Are you considering a home remodel in the winter? Still have questions or concerns? Please feel free to contact us directly. We’d love an opportunity to discuss your remodeling needs.