Blog submitted by Lambert Brothers Construction in Edmonton
Despite the province posting some of the highest construction levels for many years, there is a global supply chain shortage that is significantly impacting home renovations in Alberta.
Homeowners and construction workers alike are becoming increasingly frustrated by the supply shortage situation. It is leaving Alberta renovations unfinished for longer than ever before. But it is not just Alberta or even Canada that is affected. This is a challenging global issue that is impacting construction companies, and their customers, all over the world
Costs are soaring, the length of jobs increasing, changing access to supply, and skilled workers becoming ever more scarce. As a result, the Alberta home renovation industry has never faced so many challenges.
The Rising Costs of Home Renovations in Alberta
In 2022, the cost of building the average home in Edmonton rose by as much as 6.8 percent. That is second only to Calgary in residential construction cost increases in a single year. To add to that, the time taken to build a home is increasing by up to 44%. That is a trend that is consistent across the province.
One year on, things are still tough with warnings there could be a significant shortage of construction workers in Canada, with thousands of construction industry vacancies in the Alberta area alone in 2023, which will likely lead to more delays and potentially push up prices even further.
How the global supply shortage affecting renovations in Alberta
The global supply shortage is affecting renovations in Alberta in many ways. To start, the shortage of materials, particularly lumber, has led to higher prices and longer wait times for delivery. This has made it more expensive and time-consuming to complete renovation projects.
The global supply shortage has also added to the issue of affordable housing, as builders simply cannot access the materials they need to build new homes in the province. This has led to an increase in home prices. Combined with matching inflation problems, it has become more difficult for first-time homebuyers to enter the market.
The shortage of materials in Alberta has also affected the commercial construction industry. Many businesses struggle to find the materials they need to complete their projects. This leads to shortages of residential renovation contractors and significantly increases costs.
Easing the strain of supply shortages in Alberta
That all probably sounds a little doom-and-gloom, but construction is still booming in Alberta. We here at Lambert Brothers are still completing many renovation projects for our customers.
There are a few things that Alberta homeowners can do to ease the strain of supply shortages for their renovation to make the process smoother.
Homeowners should plan their renovation projects well in advance to allow for longer wait times for materials and the possibility of higher prices. This will also give them more time to find a contractor who has access to the materials they need.
Right now, we are booking clients about 2 months in advance of the project start, which gives us time to properly plan and acquire materials.
Alberta homeowners should also be prepared to adjust their home renovation plans if certain materials are unavailable or too expensive. There are always alternative materials to consider that can achieve a similar look or function. In addition, we are always here to advise you on what your best options are.
Homeowners should have open and honest communication with their contractors about the availability of materials. Additionally, they need to know the potential impact on the project timeline and budget. Together, they can devise a plan to minimize disruptions and disappointment in material not being available. Our design team and processes are designed to minimize project delays. We do this by directing homeowners toward materials that are more readily available.
Consider using prefabricated or modular construction
Prefabricated or modular construction can help reduce the need for certain materials and can potentially shorten the timeline of the renovation.
Be prepared to pay more
It’s not an easy reality, but homeowners should prepare to pay more for materials during a supply shortage. The increased labour cost can be blamed on inflation and the cost of living as we now have to pay staff higher wages. That said, as we’ve already mentioned, there are a variety of materials and options in today’s market. If you can look at alternatives, you may be able to find materials that are less expensive but still quality products. Any good contractor will be willing to work with the homeowner to find a solution that works for them. We at Lambert Brothers Construction can design a project to a set budget if the budget is reasonable for the space to be renovated.
Have a Contingency plan
Homeowners can also think about putting in a contingency plan. Such as a buffer budget or considering doing a larger renovation in stages to help offset budget constraints. A contingency plan can help you plan for the new realities of supply costs.
It’s important to keep in mind that supply shortages are a global issue and are affecting the entire construction industry, not just individual companies or homeowners. By working closely with your contractor and being flexible, Alberta homeowners can still complete their renovation projects with the outcome they are dreaming of in a timely fashion
If you are a homeowner looking to turn your renovation dreams into reality, contact us today for your free at-home consultation and quote.