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Backups and supply shortages leading to home improvement delays

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Homeowners across Central Ohio neighborhoods report delays in home renovation and remodeling projects. After spending more time at home during the pandemic, many residents say they have decided to tackle some of the home projects that had been put off.

“For me and so many others, the time is right. But with the pandemic, it’s a roll of the dice. People need to know they need patience,” said Columbus Homeowner Nila Whitfield. Her kitchen renovation has come with plenty of hiccups. “Everyone’s story is different. For me it started with a broken oven door.”

Consumer 10 Reporter Laura Borchers spoke with housing experts at BIA Homebuilders. Executive Director Jon Melchi offered several warnings to homeowners prior to embarking on a remodeling or construction project:

1.    Hire someone licensed, insured and with references. 

2.    Get permits first and make sure work is done to code. 

3.    Sign a contract that spells out the work and payment. Do not pay for materials in advance. 

Melchi said many homeowners are in the same jam- projects that take longer and cost more during this pandemic. He explained contractors are scheduling work several weeks further back than usual. Melchi said the two most challenging products to get right now are lumber and appliances.

“It’s an eye-opener in understanding the problem in getting the products,” said Whitfield. “Whether it’s the granite, lumber whatever- it is an eye opener to see the supply chain from China, or where ever it’s coming from, it is hard for the contractors to get the products.”

Whitfield says she found contractor delays and also inventory that wasn’t always there for first choice tile, flooring or other products.

“I started the journey on July 10. I had my first visit with the contractor July 30. I’m still kind of back to square one. I don’t know what’s going to happen,” she said. “Getting product is a problem. I think people need to understand that. When I went to look at appliances I was told ‘Don’t even order that brand. We’re not going to get it.'”

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