Nearly every homeowner has had a horror story about home improvements. Even worse, many items have seen their prices skyrocket even after contracts are signed. These aren’t typical sales challenges. These seven tips can help ease the stress of homeowners.

  1. Show patience. It is easier to find the best contractors further away. Asking for referrals from neighbors, creating a list of the things they would like done, gathering images, setting up a budget and being flexible with a timetable are all good ways to be prepared.
  2. Consider storage. Architect Allan J. Grant states that clients worry about delays in delivery which could delay construction. You can purchase your goods early and then pay for storage. Thomas Jepsen, founder and CEO of Passion Plans, says another way to find out if lead times stated by manufacturers are correct.
  3. Search for alternatives. Learn about the sources of shortages and what solutions might be available. Charlie Wiles of A&C Wiles Construction says he started fabricating lengths not available by cutting two-by-fours down to the required smaller dimensions to address lumber shortages.
  4. Scale back. Wiles has decided to put into contracts that the homeowner will pay for a price increase rather than having him absorb it. He says, “We have never seen lumberyards hold a price for so little time.” Jepsen estimates that lumber prices rose by 400% at the worst point. By reducing the project’s complexity or using lower-cost products, owners can reduce costs before work starts.
  5. Reclaimed materials are worth considering. Jepsen says that while reclaimed materials can be hard to find, they are worth the effort.
  6. Think outside the box. Consider faster options like a prefabricated accessory dwelling unit. Studio Shed’s co-founder, Jeremy Nova, says there are fewer supply chain issues for these kits because we use multiple vendors. Flat-packaging an ADU kit is how Studio Shed ships it to a location.
  7. There is no off-season for skilled remodelers. A fast-paced work environment characterizes many markets. For more information on patience, refer to lesson 1.