Tips For Homeowners Thinking About New Decking Or Siding Projects
Taking on a significant new building project can be stressful, time consuming, and hard to navigate. As a homeowner, you’re faced with a lot of decisions, many with significant cost or performance impacts…and most of these are decisions you’re making for the first time, regarding products, finishes and installations you’re not expert in. It’s enough to drive you to drink!
At Russin, our role is to help demystify these projects – we provide unbiased answers to your questions and help you land on the right solution for you, even if that solution isn’t ultimately a Russin product. We’re all homeowners too, and we know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you’re making a high-impact decision over thousands of dollars…and you feel like a fish out of water.
These projects are always challenging, but the building environment in 2022 makes them even more so – raw material and supply chain challenges persist, inflation has had significant cost impacts on projects, and product choices are evolving quickly. Here are a few important considerations specific to today’s building climate:
- Lead times are still generally longer than historical norms. This can be managed – it requires close communication between all stakeholders on a project, and a creative selection process that starts with a real understanding of the aesthetics you’re trying to achieve. Once we understand that, along with important budgetary considerations and a desired start date, we can shoehorn our way into the right products to fit the bill.
- Of course, costs have increased since the onset of the pandemic. Both truck freight and ocean freight are through the roof, labor costs are up significantly, and raw materials have become more challenging and expensive to procure. We work with homeowners every day to help manage budgetary expectations, but if a budget was set months or years ago for a project today, be prepared for a higher number or to make some concessions on the scope or materials selected.
- Innovation abounds in the building products industry. In some cases, the “tried and true” is the right way to go, but there are plenty of times when the product your builder has become accustomed to is either no longer available, or a better solution has been introduced. Part of our role is to examine the goals of your project and help to inform if there’s a better solution for cost savings or improved performance. For instance, installation techniques have advanced in many cases, with significant benefits in product performance. It’s important to consider not just the product, but also the installation and finishing methods to ensure a successful project at the lowest possible life cycle cost.
- The Internet is both friend and foe. Access to information has been a huge benefit for our industry, and it’s helped to provide homeowners with a lot more information than they’ve ever been able to access. Unfortunately, though, it has also enabled some shysters who make bold promises without a track record to back them up. If a product seems too good to be true, it often is, and beware of companies offering low prices or easy availability online. Do some research on the company you’re doing business with before committing your dollars.
Taking on a significant building or remodeling project can be stressful and unnerving, but also ultimately rewarding when the project is complete and you get to enjoy the fruits of your vision. At Russin, we want to help you make confident decisions – give us a call or fill out a contact form and we can schedule a time to discuss your project goals and design philosophy