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Contractor backlogs easing, unless you need these items

The wait for home improvement is improving, though shortages persist with some items
Economy
Posted at 4:00 AM, Jul 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-05 17:50:19-04

If you're tackling a home improvement project this summer, you should find it easier to find a contractor for the job than last year.

But that doesn't mean there won't be delays due to ongoing supply chain issues.

Adam Crowell of ProMaster Home Repair says his team is starting to catch up with the backlog of the past two years.

"It's one of those situations where our foot has been on the gas pedal the whole time, and we haven't backed off at all since the pandemic hit," he said.

But now that people are traveling again, and the easy money from stimulus checks has run out, demand for home improvement is beginning to slow.

Crowell says you have a better chance of getting that project done quicker than you did a year ago.

Lois, who didn't want to give her last name, is among those homeowners finally getting some work done on her home.

Like so many others, she waited a while and is thankful to see these ProMaster painters rehabbing her rec room.

"I just look at the paint and everything and say I couldn't do that," she said.

Some items are still facing long backlogs.

If you hire a contracting company for a job but find yourself stuck in a holding pattern, there's a good chance it is not the contractor at this point but that they are waiting for supplies to work on your home.

Jerry Howard, CEO of the National Association of Home Builders, says building costs are way up, and supplies remain tight for some items.

The NAHB says you could still face long waits for:

  • Custom cabinets
  • Countertops
  • Windows
  • Garage doors
  • Appliances like dishwashers require computer chips

He says homeowners should understand that most contractors wish they could finish their projects sooner.

"When builders have to wait, it's costing them money," Howard said.

Your best bet, he says, is to be patient and communicate with your remodeler along the way.

"Understand what they're going through with their supply chain, understand what they're going through with subcontractors and (the lack of) labor," he said. "If you do, you'll be able to work through these problems with them and have a successful outcome."

The good news is that Adam Crowell of ProMaster says he finally sees the light at the end of the tunnel.

"It is getting better," he said.

So don't be afraid to reach out to a contractor, that way, you don't waste your money.
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