Preparing Your Home for Winter Improvement Projects

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By now you may have heard about supply chain disruptions caused by labor shortages and extreme weather. This means that particular home improvement projects may be more difficult to get. Here are a few areas that might be affected as well as strategies for outsmarting the shortage.

Appliances

There is a shortage of the microprocessor chips that serve as the electronic “brains” of home appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators, and washing machines. This has caused delays in the fulfillment of these items. The supply chain disruptions are also causing shipping of these heavy items to be delayed further.

Pro Tip: If you are in need of a new appliance in the next few months, consider buying a used appliance directly from another consumer. You can use a service such as Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, or LetGo. As with any person-to-person online sale, make sure to take safety precautions. These include not going to pick up the appliance alone and not sending money before receiving the merchandise.

Paint

The Texas deep freeze that happened earlier this year affected chemical processing plants that produce resin and other chemicals used in household paint and siding. There has also been an increased demand for paint in the last year and a half. Many people are spending more time at home and starting more home improvement projects.

Pro Tip: If you need paint now, especially if it’s a smaller quantity, you may be able to buy leftover paint from retailers. They may have over-mixed a supply of a certain color or otherwise have paint they’d be unable to sell.

Lumber

Due to shortages in supply, the price of lumber skyrocketed this summer. Lumber is a crucial component in almost all new construction and home improvement projects, from flooring and windows to cabinets and decks. It does appear that prices may now be adjusting to pre-pandemic levels as demand levels off and the supply chain adapts.

Pro Tip: If you can, consider delaying new construction projects that require lumber until the price falls further.

The supply chain shortage may cause you to re-evaluate your home improvement projects. It may be best to put certain projects and purchases on hold if possible until the supply chain adjusts. For projects that cannot wait, consider alternative ways to secure the things you need. This may include buying used instead of new and creatively using the supplies that are readily available.

Bonus Pro Tip: Need help in creating a budget and savings plan that can accommodate these increased home improvement costs? Check out our Financial Health Plan.

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