home renovation delays

Building Supplies Shortage: How to Manage Home Renovation Delays

When navigating the schedule of a home renovation, hold-ups and delays can cause havoc to any construction project. But some delays can be a bigger headache than others. Currently here in Australia, there is a lot of talk around building supplies shortages and a shortage of qualified trades. Many homeowners are concerned about what they are hearing and how these industry delays are going to affect their home renovation building projects.

And rightly so. A shortage of building supplies and trades can have a significant impact on renovation projects. And often this results in a financial impact. 

The reality right now is there is a shortage of supplies and materials in the industry. The effects of COVID-19 and the changes to import and export conditions has resulted in timber shortages along with other material and products. 

The Homebuilder Incentive brought in on the back of the COVID-19 lockdowns has also largely contributed to the increase in building demand, which has, in turn, put pressure on the industry as a whole. For example, approvals for renovation activity have increased by 51.7% compared to this time last year. 

More homeowners are renovating, extending and building more than ever before. This means the demand for materials, trades and construction service providers, such as Engineers, Architects, Town Planners, Building Inspectors and so on, is very high right now. 

And high demand creates the potential for delays. 

While we as builders can generally manage delays such as rain delays or a short term hold up of stock, it can be a little more challenging to manage longer-term delays. But there are plenty of ways both you, as the homeowner, and me, as your builder can minimise the impact any external pressures, such as a building supplies shortage can have on your home renovation project.

1. Organise and Order Your Building Supplies and Products Early

Being organised and having all your key product selections locked in early can help enormously to keep your project on track during tight construction conditions. As a builder, we facilitate design consultations with all the homeowners we are working with. This means homeowners can select all the products and building materials they want to incorporate into their project and we can order all the supplies as early as possible. 

The more notice we can give the suppliers of the stock we want to order, the better the chances of getting the stock in early and having it available when we need it. So, even if you are still in the very early stages of planning your project, keep track of all the products and materials you love so when it comes time to order the stock you are on top of it. 

2. Keep on Top of Communication with your Builder

Communication is critical to avoid delays and hold-ups on your home renovation project. As the builder, we will be monitoring supply and trade conditions closely and will be in constant communication with our suppliers to ensure stock is available for your project. If there are any delays or a shortage of materials, this will be relayed to you. 

As the homeowner, it’s important you also keep open communication with us and relay any changes or alterations you want on your project as soon as possible. Some changes might be possible without any holdups to the project. Other changes, however, may have a significant impact, especially if it requires extra design work or extra material that is not on hand or in stock. 

If you have any concerns or questions about potential delays or disruptions to your project, speak to us, the builder, directly. We are your best source of accurate information relating to industry issues and any impacts on your project. 

3. Allow for Flexibility within your Home Renovation

This is probably a given already because, let’s face it, as much as we all try to create a hard and fast schedule for our home renovations, all it can take is a few wet days for it to all go pear-shaped. However, with the current conditions within the construction industry, it might be best to allow for a little extra flexibility in the schedule. 

Now, as professional builders, we are going to aim to stick to the schedule for your project as closely as we can, and even try to make up a few days here and there if the weather turns bad. But unfortunately, as good as we may be as builders, we are not miracle workers. We can’t make building supplies appear out of thin air if there is simply no building material available. So you might want to allow for a little flexibility. 

Currently, (as this article goes live) we are experiencing an approximate 2-3 month delay on projects due to a shortage of materials (particularly timber) and a backlog of projects in the planning stage as they work their way through the Architects, Engineers and so on.

The best thing for you to do at this point if you find there are hold-ups is to work with your builder. This may mean discussing extensions to the timeframes should you come up against delays due to supply shortages or planning backlogs. Remember, we hate delays as much as you do and will avoid them as much as possible. 

Some more practical advice that may be useful at this stage is discussing with your builder the option of substituting any delayed products and materials for a viable alternative that is available and will not significantly affect the design aesthetic of your home. 

It would also be a good idea, for homeowners who have relocated while their home is being renovated, to speak to the relevant people at your current accommodation. Extended delays could have an impact on your living arrangements and you may need to extend your current living situation for longer than anticipated. 

4. Keep Calm and Carry On

Our final tip is to simply keep calm and carry on. Yes, it is frustrating to have delays, but current supply shortages are affecting everyone within the industry right now. If you’ve got a good builder on board and have placed orders for your project early, then know that everything that can be done is being done.

Your home renovation will not go on forever, we promise! A positive mindset and exercising a little patience can make all the difference. 

Home Renovation Delays Can Be Easily Managed

Home renovation delays are super frustrating for everyone and most times, with a good builder, they can be minimised and even eliminated. But when delays are industry-wide and building supplies become hard to come by, it can be a little trickier to navigate. Tricky but not impossible.
If you are ready to renovate or extend your home but you’re worried about the construction schedule or building supply shortages within the industry, give the Walkom team a call and we can share what we know in real-time and give you advice and feedback related specifically to your home renovation project.

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