Pandemic Impacts on Construction

A year ago I was having many conversations with vendors and sub-contractors about whether we would see a pent-up demand for remodeling. We missed more than a full quarter of new business intake during the spring of 2020 (typically our busiest season for incoming work).  Well, there is no more guessing about demand… 

and it seems many folks are looking to improve their in-home livability while we are going to spend more time at home.


Different types of projects have different types of challenges with supply chain and price increase issues. Most notable in the cost increase category is the $8.89 2x4 lumber that was $2.39 last year. For the Owners we are building a new home for right now, that is a tough pill to swallow. We are always updating our allowance items with the times, but one of the biggest swings with finishes has been shower doors. What was $1,500 last year is now coming back from suppliers with $2,500-$3,000 quotes. The biggest challenge? Replacement parts and last-minute back orders. We are fortunate to have a great network of vendors that help us and our clients manage sourcing and swapping to keep the project on time and on point.


Renovations we are working on now more than we were seeing pre-pandemic are home additions. Not that they went away, but factors like double digit home price increases and supply to meet the demand make home improvements where in your existing home more practical than other alternatives. It also means less tear-downs as new homeowners are paying over $1m for a small home just so they have a roof over their head.


A couple of families that were on the front side of the curve are at their half way point right now- post Zoning board or Conservation wait times. In Wellesley; we replaced a sunroom that was lacking the owner’s standards in style and temperature control. This addition will add a shared bath for two bedrooms and expand one of the bedrooms upstairs. It will be terrific when guests come and work year-round as the children get older and need more time to get ready in the morning… a bonus will be a two-sided fireplace between the living room and sunroom… we can’t wait to share that photo. In Sherborn we are adding on to one of our favorite homes… and clients. Additional closet space and storage room will provide an expanded master bedroom and help de-clutter the busy family room downstairs. Anthony, the on-site construction manager, is going to miss his favorite free-range chicken when we are done as they have become lunch mates.


Our team is working very hard to put as many folks in the queue as we can without sacrificing the things that keep us in business, and our customers happy - service and quality. The message for now, take this time to plan well instead of trying to get it done tomorrow. Happy May!


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