Overcoming Challenges to Your Project

For many of us, the definition of “home” has evolved this year; it was work, it was school, it was the extent of our socializing and entertaining. This prompted a surge in demand for improvement projects, upgrades, remodels, and new builds – a surge that home industry professionals are striving to accommodate. Global supply chain issues have made this exponentially more difficult. What can you expect if you are about to launch your own project?


Construction and remodeling delays are not a new problem… just ask anyone who updated their electrical system and discovered knob-and-tube behind their walls. Here are some common schedule-busting culprits:

  • Hidden surprises (e.g. mold, foundation damage, electrical problems)
  • DIY gone wrong
  • Lengthy permit and inspection processes
  • Change orders
  • Supply chain issues and long lead times

Currently, the global supply chain is the single biggest factor in project delays. And we’re not talking about just a day or two. Or even a week or two. Homeowners are looking at around 1-2 months or more.

In a global economy, with a global supply chain, countless factors exert influence. The pandemic is just one of them, albeit a significant one. When you face project delays, you can blame:

  • Increase in demand. As mentioned, construction and remodeling is booming.
  • Extended lead times. The demand for everything from flooring and cabinets to tile and hardware to paint and stain is up. They are in short supply, and builders, remodelers, and homeowners alike face an even longer wait to start, or finish, projects.
  • Overwhelmed ports. Cargo ships are stacked up at international ports (like Los Angeles and Long Beach, which handle half the country’s imports from Asia), and they cannot clear them fast enough.
  • Labor shortages. Finding people to do jobs across the supply chain is a struggle. There is a severe lack of people to make, load, unload, and haul products and materials.
  • Manufacturer slow-downs or shut-downs. The pandemic caused a critical slow-down in US manufacturing. It has not rebounded yet as companies struggle with parts shortages, absenteeism, and difficulty filling positions.
  • Lumber shortages. The cost of lumber has gone through the roof. Sawmills cannot meet demand, and they too, face labor shortages.
  • Political Factors. Political dissension only adds fuel to the fire. Global unrest has an impact that we feel right here at home. Tariffs are one big issue: currently, there’s a 9% tariff on lumber from Canada, making it even more expensive to import and increasing price volatility.

These factors all have a ripple effect that impacts product availability, pricing, and lead times.


Expect delays. They are inevitable – but there are ways that you can mitigate the impact:

  • Make decisions as early in the process as possible and stick with them. Your selections need to be locked in and materials ordered before your remodeler can create an accurate project schedule. With guidance from your home industry professional, you can do it.
  • Be flexible. Do you have your heart set on a specific product? Manage your expectations; it is important that you are realistic about how your selection will affect the timing of your project.
  • Choose “in stock” items from ACo vendors. You don’t have to worry about your new faucet, flooring, or range being stuck on a cargo ship in LA for who knows how long.
  • Work with your designer. They can help you select items from manufacturers that have shorter lead times or find alternatives to the product you had your eye on. ACo works closely with vendors to stay up to date on their lead times, stock items, and the best alternatives.

You don’t have to forgo your project or wait until the pandemic is over and the world calms down. You can still achieve remarkable results – but you do have to be realistic about your timeframes and how product/material selections impact your schedule. The ACo team works to be as proactive, flexible, and adaptive as possible in order to continue meeting your needs.

Concerned about an upcoming project? We want you to be excited! Connect with ACo at liveaco.com to schedule a complimentary design consultation and get started on your next project.