The pandemic and the recession that followed put a cap on many people’s construction plans. The construction industry was affected in major ways, and people who were planning to renovate their homes might have had it postponed to a later date or are currently on the fence about renovating. If you’re in the middle of deciding whether to start the remodeling you’ve always dreamed of and if the COVID-19 crisis is a good time to do it, here are some pros and cons to help you come to a decision.
Pro: An economic downturn may present better deals.
During an economic downturn, property values are more likely to drop. This trend may help your design-build team negotiate with the subcontractors, which can help reduce the costs of your renovation. You might also be able to get better interest rates as you fund your renovation project. Doing a renovation or a remodel might seem like such a luxury when the world is going haywire, but proceeding with the project now may help you save money. Because a renovation can be expensive, you need to snatch whatever deal you can.
Pro: The materials might be cheaper.
Related to the first point is the cost of materials you will use. You might be able to find discounts on the materials and items you need for your remodeling or renovation. When the volume of work decreases and the bidding environment is more competitive, prices go down across the board. Now might be the time to consider the materials and fixtures you never thought you would be able to afford in a million years since they might be discounted during the recession.
Pro: There are plenty of free construction specialists.
Simultaneously, many people who work in the construction industry might be freer to help you with your project. More licensed general building contractors are good at their job who might require more projects during the pandemic. Should you choose to proceed with your dream renovation despite the challenges, you will help boost the construction industry during a time of economic upheaval. During this time, the team you decide to hire may have more time to focus on your home at the moment.
Pro: You have more time to oversee the construction.
If you’re like most of the world’s workforce and currently working from home, you might have more time to oversee how the construction is going. It’s not about micromanaging; it’s about being on top of all the changes made and having the opportunity to ensure that the designs are going as you envisioned them.
Con: The public health crisis may lead to a shortage of materials and products, and costs may still go up.
Because shipping and transportation have been deeply affected by the lockdowns and travel restrictions, you might experience a shortage of supplies and items on stock under normal circumstances. And at the same time, costs on the materials and supplies may also go up, especially when the economy opens up again. You might have already missed the window when costs were much lower.
Con: There are a lot of health risks.
Doing a home renovation during a pandemic means that there would be people working in your home all day. There would be a lot of risks to everyone’s health, including your own. You will always run the risk of someone contracting the virus while the renovations are ongoing.
Con: You risk potential interruption if someone gets infected or if the government calls for another stay-at-home order.
There is no guarantee that there will be no more shelter-in-place orders or that you won’t have to self-isolate at any point. There is nothing more stressful than an unfinished renovation project in your home. If you’re working from home, this might be a problematic scenario not just for you but also for your family. You have to expect that some delays might still happen as long as the pandemic isn’t over.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, only you would be able to decide if the pros of renovating during a pandemic and a recession far outweigh the cons. This is why it’s also prudent to talk to a contractor about your concerns. They will also be able to answer any questions you may have about the challenges you will face during the construction period. Whatever you decide, know that many professionals are willing to help you make sense of the steps you can take next.