Barriers to HI What leads to delays hero

Barriers to Home Improvement: What Leads to Project Delays

Jan 19, 2022

The past two years have fueled a flur­ry of home improve­ment activ­i­ty for much of the coun­try. The rise of the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic kept peo­ple indoors, forced more time at home, and caused many to rethink the spaces where they spend much of their time.

While it may come as no sur­prise that stay-at-home orders inspired an increase in home office and home gym ren­o­va­tions, home improve­ment activ­i­ty did not slow even as the coun­try reopened. For most in the home and build­ing indus­try, the uptick in projects has been a large­ly pos­i­tive expe­ri­ence, inspir­ing hope after a peri­od of great uncer­tain­ty. How­ev­er, uncer­tain­ty still lingers in some areas in ear­ly 2022.

In an econ­o­my that moves off expect­ed demand, unfore­seen spikes result in mate­r­i­al and labor short­ages. For many, this has extend­ed project costs and time­lines. The Home Improve­ment Research Insti­tute (HIRI) exam­ined home­own­ers’ major bar­ri­ers to com­plet­ing home improve­ment projects dur­ing this unique time in the indus­try. The top chal­lenges report­ed include:

  • Unfore­seen set­backs relat­ed direct­ly to the pandemic
  • Unavail­able prod­ucts or materials
  • High­er project cost than expected

From deal­ing with ill­ness, social dis­tanc­ing, and clo­sures to mate­r­i­al short­ages and ship­ping delays, the onset of COVID-19 pre­sent­ed new chal­lenges for home­own­ers look­ing to com­plete improve­ment projects. In fact, time and cost were report­ed to be less sig­nif­i­cant bar­ri­ers for home­own­ers than in 2019, while a short­age in mate­ri­als and con­trac­tors is a big­ger road­block to get­ting the job done.

On the pro­fes­sion­al con­trac­tors’ end, the main rea­sons for project delays or stop­page also include mate­r­i­al avail­abil­i­ty, mate­r­i­al prices, and an under­es­ti­mat­ed amount of time need­ed for the project.

While only time will tell exact­ly what hap­pens next, it’s clear that the demand for home ren­o­va­tions will be met with some give and take for the fore­see­able future.

For more infor­ma­tion on project activ­i­ty delays for DIYer’s and Pro’s, see our Month­ly activ­i­ty track­ers brought to you by HIRI and The Farnsworth Group.

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