A perfect storm has occurred. Never before in the history of our showroom has demand been higher. And we are not unique. Almost every peer in the remodeling business is reporting record or near-record project volume.

There are a number of reasons for current conditions. Many homeowners have been working and schooling from home for more than a year. Many have told us that they are tired of their homes and their homes are tired of them. They want their homes to look, feel and function more effectively.

Second, those in who have been fortunate to work through the pandemic have more discretionary income that can be earmarked for home improvements. Plus, interest rates remain at near all-time lows.

Third, home values are ballooning upward with demand for new homes far exceeding supply. This combination has made many homeowners realize that they can afford the kitchen or bath of their dreams.

What do current market conditions mean for homeowners who want to undertake a renovation project?  

Start your research as early as possible. Determine what will best suit the needs of your family and budget, ranging from simply replacing what currently exists in the same location or undertaking a full-scale renovation that reconfigures and potentially expands the space.  

Determine the type of cabinets and countertops you want the most. Visit Instagram and Houzz.com among other websites and create your own storyboards with images of kitchens and products that you desire in your new kitchen. The more decisions you can make before visiting a showroom, the better served you will be.

Have realistic expectations.  HGTV and other home improvement television shows are wonderful sources of inspiration.  They, however, perform an incredible disservice when it comes to timelines and budgets.  

Most home improvement television shows do not include the cost of labor in their pricing or design, planning and permitting in their time estimates.  Pricing and timelines on home improvement television are not realistic during normal times; it’s even worse now.  

Don't be suprised if you are quoted four-to-six-month timelines before your project can start.  Be wary of anyone who is able to begin sooner. Even if showrooms could start your project earlier, supply chain issues may prevent them from doing so.  

You may have read about the freighter that got stuck in the Suez canal for a week and disrupted global commerce.  Many manufacturers are producing at maximum capacity.  It is not uncommon to receive shipping dates for new cabinets or appliances 12 to 16 weeks from the date of order.

Supply chain backlogs also have affected pricing.  The cost of lumber has tripled in the last year.  That’s another reason to have realistic expectations and partner with showrooms that you can trust.  

Check online reviews, obtain references from family and neighbors and ask showrooms for a list of references from their clients who have undertaken projects similar to the one you are considering.

The lessons of these most extraordinary times are:

• Start early in the process.

• Obtain references and make sure that you trust the showroom that will design the kitchen of your dreams.

• Don’t be surprised if your project can’t begin for three to four months from the day you sign a contract.

• Trust your showroom professional to assure that you have a realistic budget to achieve your goals.

• Remember it might take longer, but the finished product will be more than worth it.

What other tips do you need to successfully plan your dream kitchen or bath? Give Country Cabinets, Etc. a call at (603) 356-5766 to make an appointment. Please Note: Showroom visit are by appointment only.

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