An update from Susan headshot graphic.

An Update from Susan

What Your Contractor STILL Wants You to Know 

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times … or something like that! The fact is that the pandemic has absolutely super-charged the home improvement industry. Unfortunately, the impacts of the pandemic on the supply chain also have absolutely crippled the home improvement industry. 

So needless to say, we were thrilled to have recently been awarded both the 2022 Houzz Awards for Design and Service. Even during the most unusual times, we remain committed to providing the highest quality product and service to our clients. 

The Best of Houzz Design is awarded to the most popular photos by room and metro area, determined by how many times it is saved to Ideabooks by Houzz users in the past year. We are really proud that our Basement Renovation project has received the Design Award for the past two years – now that is a renovation with some staying power!

2022 Houzz Awards with sample projects

But this year, to be honest, we are most excited about receiving the Best of Houzz Service Award. The Service Award recognizes those professionals who provide excellent customer service and is determined by the quality of reviews from our clients for projects in the previous year. It has been a challenging year in so many ways, but at Epic, our focus is and always will be on the service we provide for our clients. 

With that being said, we decided to check in with Susan on some things that your contractor may want you to know as we all continue to navigate the uncharted waters of the current supply chain. 

How is the timing of projects different this year? 

It just keeps getting worse! Right now we are scheduling consultations for some larger projects that won’t start until 2023! That’s very unusual for us to be a year out! And while it’s nice to keep the pipeline full, it is just so hard to tell someone in our first conversation about potentially working together that we wouldn’t be starting for a year. I have laughed and shared with some folks that my old “sales pitch” was pretty good, but now it’s something like: “it’s gonna take longer than think, cost more than you expect and you will be mad at me at some point when I tell you something we ordered isn’t gonna make it…still want to do it?”  

What can you expect if you are planning a project right now? 

Frazzled contractors! Pricing is constantly in flux! No, lumber pricing has not leveled off and the supply chain issues have driven up costs on just about everything.  

What type of home renovation projects are most popular right now? 

For us, it seems to be additions and larger scale first floor or whole house renovations. Either people need more square footage or they just need their existing space rearranged in a way that works better for their family. Work and schooling from home have left a lasting imprint on how we need to have space for everyone to spread out! 

When should I buy my new appliances?

Immediately! I tell everyone to kiss your refrigerator goodnight every single night and tell it how much you love it! LOL! Because you don’t want to be shopping for appliances right now unless you have no choice. We currently have several projects delayed because the new appliance configuration doesn’t match up with their existing appliances and we won’t be able to complete their kitchens without the new appliances. Some lead times are 16 months right now on high-end appliances. So all projects that include kitchens have start dates dependent on the appliance situation.

Should I just hold off on my renovation project until things settle down? 

It’s so hard to say when we will ever see things “settle down” or even what that means. I feel like there’s been a real shift in the expectations we have to set with clients and really don’t see when that is going to change. I’ve heard some say 2023…but they were saying 2022 during 2020 so who really knows? So if you have a project that you hope to complete in the next 2-3 years you might as well get started with the planning phase right now. 

Is it too late to plan an outdoor living project to enjoy this year?  

Most likely…just depends on the overall scope of work. Smaller patios or decks might be possible with some contractors in town, but the larger scale, covered porches/patios with outdoor kitchens, etc. are most likely not going to be completed before the end of the season.

Do you use subcontractors or have an in-house crew? 

We use a combination of the two…some of our key carpenters and tradesmen are in-house, but for any specialized trade like plumbing, HVAC, electric, flooring, and tile, we have a trade base second to none that we work with on all of our projects!

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