Ganesa Wiens and Janet Mckenzie, of Lee’s Custom Floors, suggest people give themselves plenty of lead time when doing renovations. (Sabrina Ede photo - 100 Mile Free Press).

Ganesa Wiens and Janet Mckenzie, of Lee’s Custom Floors, suggest people give themselves plenty of lead time when doing renovations. (Sabrina Ede photo - 100 Mile Free Press).

Plan ahead for home renovations

Some local contractors are booked until 2022

If you have big plans for home improvement projects this fall and beyond, experts in the South Cariboo have one piece of advice: give yourself plenty of lead time.

With a backlog in supplies to contend with and contractors booked well into 2022, renovation projects are not likely to get wrapped up quickly, and require plenty of planning ahead.

“Give yourself lots of time if you plan to order materials,” Ganesa Wiens, of Lee’s Custom Floors said. “We have seen a disruption to the supply chain because of COVID, and also the fires over the summer created some delays as well.”

Lee’s has a large selection of suppliers to choose from, Wiens pointed out, which allows them to most often find what a customer is looking for even if they have to do some calling around.

Other trades are having a hard time finding materials the past several months, Wiens said, especially plumbers and electricians.

“I know that shower inserts and sinks, things like that, there is an excessively long wait right now,” she said. “Also for trades people to be able to get to you, many of them are booking well into next year.”

With an increase in people moving to the South Cariboo over the past few years – many of whom are wanting to upgrade or renovate the homes they are buying – the need for tradespeople to take on these jobs is higher than ever, Wiens said.

“The demand has increased tenfold and the workforce has not,” she said.

READ MORE: 20% of B.C. homeowners regret 2020 renovations: report

In addition to people relocating to the area wanting to spruce up their new home, a trend known as “pandemic living” is likely also contributing to the uptick in home improvement projects, according to a RE/MAX Renovation Investment Report published earlier this year.

With homeowners across the country spending more time at home than ever the past 18 months due to COVID-19 restrictions, the report indicates that Canadians are upgrading their homes for non-essential “lifestyle” reasons more so than to improve their home’s value.

A survey conducted for the report states that “more than half (55 per cent) of respondents stated that they have already done or would like to do a home renovation within the next year.”

When it comes to renovations, being prepared, knowing what you want and having your finances lined up are some simple ways to make the job go smoothly, according to one South Cariboo contractor.

Also, expect the unexpected, especially if it’s an older house in question.

“With renovating you can be opening a can of worms – leaks, water damage, many things that can be hiding behind your wall, so expect that this will happen,” they said. “Know that any home older than 1986 is probably full of asbestos. This is expensive to deal with. It’s something to look into before demolition and before you ask a contractor to come and quote.”

For new builds – or significant additions to an existing home – permits will be necessary, which also requires drawings from an engineer. With the prices of materials changing daily, it’s also important to respond to quotes in a timely manner and pay deposits to book your spots.


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