Is renovating during Covid different than pre-Covid times? It sure is! Renovating is already a complicated dance, but add in supply chain and labour issues, and you have the recipe for a potential disaster. This is why it is so important to surround yourself with a team you trust.
Curious what a home renovation during Covid looks like? Well read on...
Part 1: The Design
In the spring of 2020, we were hired by clients to complete the design work for their kitchen. They knew they wanted to renovate their kitchen, and eventually their ensuite bathroom, and a few small things around the house, but for now they just wanted to focus on their kitchen. As you can imagine, they loved the experience so much and were so excited for the kitchen concepts we put together that they wanted to complete the ensuite bathroom design as well. Which eventually turned into a redesign of most of their main floor.
What they really loved about the kitchen design was that they hadn’t thought of it. They went into the process thinking they knew exactly what they wanted for a new layout. The layout wasn’t bad, but I knew it could be improved, so I showed them a more functional layout that they fell in love with.
When it came to the bathroom, they had absolutely no idea how to rearrange things to make the space more functional. Their shower was small and cramped, and there were so many walls in this small space. The design we came up with tore all the walls down and created a spa-like oasis.
We also helped to redesign the front entrance, the family room, and a few other small items such as doors and trim.
Part 2: Construction
At the time EBO Design+Build was still EBO Design, and we didn’t offer renovation services, so we brought on a contractor to complete the work. Unfortunately, Covid has created a mess of the renovation industry. There are many people who want to renovate, and it's taking a lot longer than usual. Our contractor was incredibly busy, so we had to wait until the fall of 2021 for the work to start. Once the work started, what was supposed to be an 8 week renovation eventually turned into 6 months! (I should mention this is at no fault to any of the parties involved.)
First hiccup – the tub. Our supplier kept telling us that they were being told “one more week” for the tub delivery. Well that “one more week” eventually turned into 3 months, and we decided to reselect for a tub that was in-stock. It wasn’t quite as nice as the one we initially selected, but our clients were happy with the compromise if it meant their bathroom would be completed sooner.
Second hiccup – the painters. Painting started at the beginning of winter, which meant that every time one of the painters showed any cold symptoms, they had to go home. This resulted in a lack of staff for the painting company, and the timeline for painting was tripled.
Third hiccup – the kitchen countertop. The shipment for the countertop we selected was delayed from overseas, so it took about an extra month for the countertop installation to take place. Thankfully the cabinetry had been installed, so I talked to the contractor about installing a temporary plywood countertop with a temporary sink, as well as to move in the fridge and stove so they could at least use their kitchen in some capacity. The clients were very thankful for this solution.
Fourth hiccup – the weather. Early in the new year the weather warmed up dramatically right after a brutal cold snap. This resulted in a lot of “attic rain” in the Edmonton area, including at my client’s home. They had water pooling in some of their pot lights, so the contractor had to set up fans to dry out the attic space and all that extra moisture.
Part 3: Renovation Completion
By February 2022, most of the work had been completed except for some minor touch-ups and warranty repair work, but the clients were beyond excited to see their space mostly finished. They had also been living in the house through the entire renovation, so being able to go back to a semblance of normal was a relief.
One of the main things that the clients continually stressed throughout the renovation was how invaluable our team was during the renovation process. Not only had we hit the design concepts out of the park, but we removed a lot of the stress during the construction. Every time something came up, we were able to help reselect or come up with a solution on their behalf. They were glad that they didn’t have to make any of the small decisions, and that we were there to hold their hand through the journey.
Renovating during Covid definitely isn’t easy with all of the supply chain and staffing issues, but having a professional team on your side helps to alleviate some of the overwhelm and anxiety.
Have any questions or comments about renovating during Covid? Just drop them below; we’d love to hear from you.
You can see final images of this project in our portfolio, and check out our blog post next month for an in-depth look at the design decisions that were made.
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