Home Improvement and Supply Chain Shortages

Home improvement projects can transform your home into a dreamy paradise as well as increase its value. Furniture styles, home designs, and appliances are constantly changing thanks to innovations and new technology. Thus, there is never a shortage of home upgrades and renovations to undertake. Nevertheless, the success of these projects is always dependent on proper planning.

The pandemic has shaken things up in the supply department. Previously, you could count on walking into any hardware store and find the supplies you need for your home improvement project. This isn’t guaranteed anymore though. That’s why every homeowner planning home improvement projects or new construction ought to know the common supply chain shortages. This knowledge helps in planning how to source the necessary materials in advance. Having ample time to obtain the needed raw materials eliminates delays brought about by untimely deliveries. The main supply chain shortages homeowners need to prepare for now are:

Home Improvement: Appliances in short supply

With every update, home and kitchen appliances not only become finer but also perform better. They are also programmed to make the user experience much better hence making your work easier.

However, don’t wait until the last minute to place your order. Remember, you won’t be the only person buying the items. More people are making home-cooked meals and spending time at home. Meaning the demand for elegant home and kitchen appliances has gone up. 

The demand-supply dynamics mostly affect appliances shipped from abroad or that need imported parts.

Nonetheless, you can still get your desired appliances by ordering in advance and being patient. Alternatively, you can find local products that work just the same as the ones you wanted. Buying your desired appliance as a second-hand or new with a few blemishes is a viable option as well when everything else fails. You’re likely to get the product at a low price which saves you a lot of money. However, ensure you have come to terms with such a decision, especially if it is a costly item. 

Home Improvement: Lumber shortage

If you want a custom-built home then new construction is your best bet. The architect and builder work together to bring your dream into realization. And you have the final say in every step. New construction, however, requires a lot of lumber.

Covid-19 related closures and lockdowns, as well as travel restrictions, have made the existing lumber shortage even worse. Also, safety measures put in place to protect workers from contracting the virus have affected the operations at lumber mills. Additionally, wildfires due to climate change have pushed an already bad situation to worse. On top of lumber being in short supply, the prices have shot up too. Thus, homeowners have to find alternatives or be patient in obtaining this commodity. 

Home Improvement: Furniture delivery delays

Furniture designs and choices are very personal. Furthermore, your choice of furniture can make or break a space. You may think it looks great until you bring it home and realize it isn’t quite what you had in mind. Also, finding customized pieces isn’t easy at the moment.

Additionally, there is a shortage of imported furniture because of restrictions that came about as a result of the pandemic. Thus, you may be waiting for a long time for your international orders to be delivered.

The other option is to buy vintage furniture or find a local furniture store willing to make customized furniture pieces for you. Alternatively, you can buy from online stores. Some stores specifically sell new furniture that directly comes from furniture companies as rejects because of defects. Items that were returned for one reason or another are also an option. The highlight is that you’ll get the furniture quickly and at extremely low prices.

Home Improvement: Windows and doors on backorder

These come second after lumber on the list of the hardest home improvement items to find at the moment. This is mainly due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic but also because not many companies in the US manufacture doors and windows.

Given the uncertainties in the business world, it isn’t the best time to start a company hence the hesitance of investors to put their money on window or door manufacturing. Thus, the countable windows and doors manufacturers in the US are working on a serious backlog. That’s why many customers have had to wait for weeks or even months to get their orders. You’ll even wait to longer if you want customized products. Many manufacturers have dealt with this by ramping up production with the resources they have. But it hasn’t been enough to fill the demand.

You can choose to work with what is available or search online through Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist for what you need and see what turns up. Some people may have a surplus of the products you want which would quickly solve your problem.

Home Improvement: Paint in short supply

Paint is a necessity in many home improvement or construction projects. However, this product has been in short supply too. Hurricanes in many parts of the country as well as climate change are to blame. With the destruction of many chemical processing plants, many key ingredients in the manufacture of exterior paints have been in short supply. This, in turn, has led to the shortage of paint all over the country.

To win in this scenario patience is essential. Some paint stores have leftovers.  If you check with a good number of them you may get enough of the desired paint for your project. You may also choose to work with what is available.

Home Improvement: Petrochemical shortage

With the number of water bodies all around us, it may seem like a joke that bottled water is in short supply. However, the problem isn’t a water shortage but rather the scarcity of petrochemicals. Anything made of plastic relies on these petrochemicals. Thus, the issue lies in the supply of water bottles. The price of some of the associated products like plastic bottle caps has gone up by 300%.  In this case, a water filtration system is one of the best alternatives. If you can find one.

Home Improvement: Power tools on backorder

The movement of products between borders, and at times between states, has slowed down due to the introduction of a new set of checkups and restrictions because of the pandemic. Therefore, you may have to wait a bit longer to buy your favorite nail gun and other power tools you need to complete your home improvement project. Renting, borrowing from a neighbor or asking for alternatives from local hardware stores can work as you wait for the items to be restocked.

At the moment, no one can predict how long the pandemic-related delays will last or when these supply chain shortages will end. Therefore, homeowners have to work with what is available, buy products/raw materials abroad.  Or find alternative ways of getting your home improvement projects done.


Welcome to the Pacifica Locals Real Estate Blog! This real estate website, as the name suggests, is all about generating the dominating the online exposure that your home deserves.

Vicki Moore of Compass has been working in the local market since 1998. She is a veteran to the real estate industry with expertise in technology, marketing, and social media.

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