There is no doubt about it, the pandemic has changed the home industry and the relationship we have with our homes. The lack of travel and pre-pandemic entertainment opportunities have redirected our flexible spending to home improvement projects.
So today, I’m sharing 3 ways the pandemic has changed the industry and what you can expect when it comes to your next home project. Let’s go!
1. Demand Has Skyrocketed
There is a decreased supply of furnishings and home improvement-related products because COVID-19 caused global economic uncertainty. Companies pulled back from ordering consumer products and as a result, freight companies pulled container ships out of rotation and returned them to their home ports.
Then, the unexpected happened, demand for everything in the home improvement industry skyrocketed. Everyone was spending more time at home, and they noticed what wasn’t working in their homes. It was time to upgrade!
2. Shrinking Supply Availability
We’ve all heard about long lead times because of supply chain issues. In the home furnishings industry, these include imported products such as fabric, leather, and metal components such as swivel mechanisms and drawer glides.
Add to this the severe snow and ice storms that crippled the gulf coast in February of 2021. The storms severely affected the petroleum industry and its by-products, including the chemicals needed to produce upholstery foam. As a result, furnishing manufacturers across the board receive only 50-60% of the foam supplies they had contracted.
As a result, production has slowed for these products. The home appliances industry is also affected because the same foam used in upholstery cushions is used in refrigerator door insulation.
3. Extended Wait Times & Timelines
Wait times are not limited to products, but services as well. Homebuilders and remodelers are overwhelmed with the massive demand for their services. As a result, many mom-and-pop shops like our drapery and upholstery workrooms, painters, and wallcovering installers work seven days a week to keep up with demand.
How can Hoskins Help?
At Hoskins Interior Design, our team has taken a step back to assess the best way to manage our current environment. We are keeping our fingers on the pulse of our trade vendors. We pay attention to how they are handling these challenges. What do their lead times look like? Is quality being affected?
Lead times from our custom furnishings vendors (a majority produced in the U.S.) are shorter than many large retail stores whose products are being made overseas.
And now more than ever, we follow up. We continually check stock and check progress. And when we are faced with difficult situations, we problem solve and ask, “What is the best outcome for our clients given these constraints?”
If you anticipate a home improvement project, we would be honored to help you navigate today’s challenges. Plan early, manage expectations and settle in. We know that you will be glad you did!
Contact us today to get started!
Until next time,