How to keep your remodeling project on track

Keep Your Project on Track

Modern Kitchen Design, Boulder Colorado


The 2021 world has gone crazy! And we thought 2020 was the height of unbelievable, crazy things. If you haven’t heard, global supply chains are a disaster. And that is really causing havoc for those in the midst of any home improvement project. Price increases and delays happen all the time, just not as suddenly and pervasively as now.

How did we get here?  If you’re curious about exactly how got to this point, I’ll explain all the once-in-a-lifetime factors that have converged to get us to this moment at the end of this article. First, I want to focus on solutions to your problems now.  That problem being that any interior design project in 2021 will cost more and take longer, much longer.  If you are planning a remodeling or renovation project, how can you keep it on track?

Design Every Detail First

Instead of finalizing decisions as you go. This is a fundamental rule of how we run successful interior design jobs at Beautiful Habitat. Our detailed and tested process is to create the full design plan for every detail of the project. Then we order every single item needed for construction; finishes, fixtures, materials. We track and organize their arrival. Simultaneously, we are communicating with the GC for a project start date. We ensure that all items have arrived before the work begins. We do not start ANY work on a project until every item has been ordered and is in Colorado, either in the clients’ garage or at our local warehouse.  Why is this so critical? The construction team needs to stay working in order to earn a living.  If a product is not available and the work on your home has to stop, the crew will have to move on to the next job. This places your job on hold until they finish the other project and can come back to yours. This could cause weeks or months of delay.  Planning and purchasing management in advance will avoid this.


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Be Flexible {but don’t settle}

I recently read an article that urged home owners to be flexible in order to complete their project. It advised people to opt for black appliances instead of stainless (yes, there is a steel shortage) or to mix appliance brands to get pieces that are in stock. I agree with the idea of flexibility, but only as long as you are not settling for something to meet a deadline. Here is an example:  you have always wanted that 30” Wolf range in your dream kitchen, but it’s on back order until 2022. However, you can get a 30” Wolf range top and a 30” wall oven now. That is a great compromise. You get the same end result in the same space allocated.

But let’s say that the refrigerators with ice and water on the door are the backorder item. Are you willing to have an interior ice drawer with your three teenagers (and friends) sticking their hands in there for ice cubes? That might not be the tradeoff you need. You might regret that purchase in a few months.

My point is, we have all settled for something at some point in life. And it’s left us with different degrees of bitter taste. So be flexible, but consider how much you are willing to settle. Home remodeling projects are very expensive and infrequent. I don’t want you to spend thousands of dollars but have regrets in the future.

Buy Local

This won’t solve all of the supply chain problems, but it will definitely help. I prefer to buy local whenever I can, as a consumer, and I source from local resources often for clients. It’s always my personal preference to support local business.  This paid off in dividends in 2020. We achieved a whole house remodel in 2020, which stayed on a 3 month construction schedule. This was due to the planning and communication I explained above. It was further helped by working with a Denver-based cabinet builder. Having a local company meant we had frequent communication on the timelines. We did experience a delay on the kitchen cabinet doors. However, the company delivered the cabinet boxes so we were able to install those and the countertops on schedule. I never could have achieved this if the cabinets were coming from another state.


Custom Kitchen Design Denver CO, Boulder COVia Beautiful Habitat


Because of the upholstery foam shortages, I have just designed a custom headboard with a Denver upholstery shop. They will meet our project install date for August, when other brands are backordered to November and December.


Bedroom Interior Decorating Denver COVia Beautiful Habitat

Practice Patience

Every step of the process is experiencing delays, which compound into a very long process. Prior to late summer 2020, we ran a very tight ship. We knew exactly how long it took for us to produce design plans for certain size projects. Samples would arrive in 2-4 days. Quotes would be returned in 24—72 hours. Those lead times have been extended to weeks. I can no longer promise timelines to my clients. It has taken me months to adjust to this “new normal”  and find some patience with the new process.

A tool that has helped me to find this patience is to remember that everyone involved in this process is doing the best they can with the tools and information available. This helps me to remember the humans involved in the supply chain and that we are experiencing this together. We can help each other through it.

Focus on the End Goal

Remember it will all be worth it in the end. We provide our clients with 3D renderings of what the final project will look like as well as sample of all the products. Our clients have these tangible items to focus on the end goal when the project feels like it’s dragging on.


Interior Design 3D models Denver Interior Designer

How did we get here?

Once in a hundred year pandemic, a container ship lodged in the Suez Canal for a week, Texas broke itself, wildfires, rising costs of and lack of shipping containers, tariffs on goods, shortages in raw materials and labor shortages… The list is long, but I’m going to focus on the big disrupters to our supply chains.

Pandemic and shutdowns. Depending upon the location, some businesses shut down for 2 weeks up to several months. Once they reopened, the majority did so with limited and socially-distanced workforce, which slowed down production. Meanwhile, consumer demand was rising.

The Canadian lumber industry fully expected that a recession would follow the pandemic. In early 2020, production was slowed due to the pandemic as well as voluntarily to survive the predicted recession. That recession did not happen. Meanwhile, demand for lumber and home improvement products skyrocketed. The result: huge demand, reduced supply and now the prices are up, significantly.

Texas broke itself during a cold weather front. The chemical factories that produce upholstery foam are in Texas. The result is a serious upholstery foam shortage and now lead times for upholstered furniture are 6 months long.

There is a shortage in shipping containers, for shipping items overseas, as well as trucking availability for shipping things domestically.  This is due to the dramatic increase in demand for all products.


Want to know more about working with an Interior Designer? Try the following articles.

What does it mean to Purchase Interior Design Services?

5 Benefits of Working with an Interior Designer

5 Questions to Ask and Interior Designer Before you Hire