The ripple effects from the Covid-19 pandemic have been far-reaching. Some effects are more obvious and widespread, like toilet paper shortages and changes in the way many companies operate their businesses. The home improvement industry is no different and has also faced many challenges and opportunities spurring from the pandemic. This has left many to wonder how exactly has Covid-19 affected the home improvement industry? We take a look at some of the ways our industry has been shaped and what that means for our customers.
Increase in Demand
With more people staying home over the last year there has been a rise in the home improvement demand overall. One recent study conducted indicated that homeowners felt driven to improve their space because they were spending more time at home. Many families realized they needed more privacy while others felt like they had more time to tackle their home improvement projects. The increased focus on the comfort and safety of the home lead to an anticipated increase in the demand for home improvements.
Several states and regions implemented regulations on building capacity, types of businesses that can operate, and more. As a result, several manufacturers have had to adjust production and in some cases stop production. Border closures and a shortage of available drivers have also led to logistics and shipping delays throughout the nation. In some cases, manufacturers have been unsure when the material will even be delivered. These issues have led to material shortages, such as nails, plywood, and even roofing shingles. Many contractors have been surprised by these shortages but others have remained on top of the supply trends. By keeping an eye on the market and fostering open dialogue with suppliers, contractors are better able to schedule future jobs based on available materials as well as work through change orders to get the job done for their customers.
Another type of shortage that has also impacted the home improvement industry is the labor shortage. In recent years the labor pool for blue color and trades workers has remained fairly stagnant while the demand for trades has increased. The previous strain on trade labor coupled with shutdowns and newly imposed regulations that forced trade companies to lay employees off left the home improvement industry in a bit of a pickle when regions did reopen. Many material suppliers, as well as contractors, were left trying to fill empty positions as people were hesitant to head back to work.
Changes to Safety Protocol
The pandemic also brought about a shift in the way many companies thought about employee and customer safety. However, in the home improvement industry, most of the recommendations and protocols that came about were oftentimes already in place on the job site. Furthermore, construction often uses satellite imagery to gather measurements for estimates and material orders. Contractors already well versed in technology were able to utilize technology to virtually meet with homeowners. All of this allowed the industry as a whole to pivot much faster than other industries with several contractors never missing a beat!
A shortage in materials, coupled with an increase in demand has led to some price increases on building materials. A trend we expect to continue through at least the summer. Wood products seem to be the most affected right now with prices for lumber at record highs. The increases in prices for some materials could start to shift the buying habits of homeowners who will focus on home improvements that are affordable while adding value, comfortability, and safety to their home.
While it is true that the home improvement industry is facing several challenges as a direct result of the pandemic, many contractors, like Valentine Roofing, have taken every hurdle as an opportunity to improve for their community and their employees. In fact, now is an excellent time for home improvements like window replacement, roof replacement, seamless gutters, and more! With safety, quality, and service a focus of the entire industry, homeowners are sure to win with whatever project they decide on!