We are currently experiencing a unique environment in the Denver home remodel and custom home industry. This landscape is making accurate scheduling more and more difficult. Several market pressures are contributing to this challenge, and we thought it would be helpful to try and explain why 6-month projects are now taking 8-10 months or more to complete.
The Great Recession forced a lot of skilled trades people to exit the industry and many of them never returned. We are seeing a similar trend in the Denver home remodel service industry. People were forced to find other work and re-evaluate their careers due to COVID. The same thing happened in the construction industry 10 years ago and we have never fully recovered.
The pipeline for skilled trades is limited. It’s true that you can make good money in the trades, especially if you can stick with it long enough to earn your masters license and/or start your own business. What seems to get glossed over is the amount of pure dedication and grit that it takes to get to that point. Years, and maybe even a career of long days and tired muscles seem to be a path that less and less people are interested in pursuing.
There is a housing shortage in the metro Denver area. Demographic trends continue to exacerbate housing scarcity that has become somewhat desperate in certain neighborhoods. This condition has led in part to a rise in the demand for remodeling. People realize that they cannot find a new house that fits their needs for a price they can afford in a neighborhood they want to live in, so they turn to the remodeling option to transform their homes.
COVID has forced many people to spend much more time at home and re-evaluate how they use their homes. Pair this with the fact that many people were lucky enough to keep their jobs through the pandemic and were not spending as much on eating out, entertainment and travel. The need to rework the home to accommodate the new norm along with an increase in savings has led to an increase in demand for remodeling.
The supply chain for many common construction items has become extremely unpredictable. Windows that used to take 3-4 weeks are now out 8-10. Refrigerators that used to be in-stock are now 6 or more months out. Some common items like siding that used to take 3-4 days to be delivered to a job site can simply be out of stock statewide until further notice. A shortage of domestic labor in both manufacturing and shipping, increases in demand, long delays for international materials, and clogged ports of entry have made the supply chain very unpredictable.
At Squareroot we are working hard to adapt to these conditions, but there is no doubt that it is simply taking longer to finish a project that it used to. Hopefully the market will move to a place where it is at least possible to accurately predict the length of a project. Until that time, we appreciate your patience and grace!