Landscape Architecture Project Planning in a Pandemic World
Even as we move into a new year, the pandemic reverberations that began last March are still being felt. Following the initial shock of sheltering in place, homeowners began working on their homes inside and out. Many people were DIYers, while others hired contractors and took on large-scale projects.
This combination ate up existing inventories of building materials from windows to 2x4s to landscape products. Because of widespread lockdowns, suppliers weren’t able to replenish their stock, and even when employees could return to work, companies were operating at reduced capacity and output.
As a result, there is still a backlog when it comes to ordering materials, and delays of two to eight weeks for building materials are commonplace. The job materials just aren’t on the shelf.
Additionally, this increase in demand with a reduction in supply is driving prices up. Companies have to pay more for raw materials used in the manufacturing process and are struggling with labor availability. Finally, sellers can charge more given the high demand, yet I’m happy to say there hasn’t been any price gouging.
Contractors are also in high demand and were booked-solid last year. We expect that trend to continue throughout 2021 as homeowners and families continue to invest in their homes and landscapes.
Home sale statistics show people continue to leave the city for outer suburbs and rural areas, and they are driving demand for renovations and new construction. The DMV area also sees high turnover when administrations change, a cycle that also drives increased demand for contractors and builders.
What Does This Mean for You?
Unfortunately, high demand and low supply mean that the projects you have planned for this year may take longer and cost more. Ideally, we would start planning spring and summer projects now to allow us to schedule our teams and order materials.
If you have a landscaping or renovation project you want to tackle this year, start working with your contractor as soon as possible. Even with an early start, your project may already be facing delays. Our team is poised to take the headache out of these pandemic delays and create your dream home.