Skip to content
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(CNBC)   Home renovations will cost 50% and take 50% longer during COVID. But that's ok, since the only homeowners left are billionaires   (cnbc.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, Renovation, Cost, Home improvement, Real estate, General contractor, general contractors, building sweat equity, majorhome renovation  
•       •       •

551 clicks; posted to Business » and Main » on 25 Sep 2020 at 12:35 PM (3 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



48 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2020-09-25 12:39:23 PM  
Only if you have someone else do them.

If your house is worth $1 million, for example, I highly suggest keeping the budget at most 10% of your home value ($100,000).

...ah, this article isn't for me. It really is for rich assholes worried about whether they will get that new electric car charger or recessed lighting as part of their overall remodeling project. It's not for folks like me.
 
2020-09-25 12:42:44 PM  

FormlessOne: Only if you have someone else do them.

If your house is worth $1 million, for example, I highly suggest keeping the budget at most 10% of your home value ($100,000).

...ah, this article isn't for me. It really is for rich assholes worried about whether they will get that new electric car charger or recessed lighting as part of their overall remodeling project. It's not for folks like me.


Yep.  Basically written for this group of "sad sacks"
si.wsj.netView Full Size


First tax increases, now higher remodeling costs!? when will this great injustice end?
 
2020-09-25 12:46:01 PM  
WouldNot all the contractors be desperate for work?
 
2020-09-25 12:49:42 PM  
So overruns are 50% more and it takes 50% longer than promised.   At least some things didn't change because of COVID.
 
2020-09-25 12:53:16 PM  
The sprinkler system installation has taken more days than forecasted. Mostly because of rain.
 
2020-09-25 1:06:30 PM  

Fano: WouldNot all the contractors be desperate for work?


Not at all. Several family members and close friends work in the construction industry. As soon as Suzy homemaker starts to negotiate on price of work, they simply say thanks and walk away. A great buddy of mine bid to complete my neighbor's basement. When the neighbor started biatching about the timeline (12 weeks out), my buddy simply said thanks for the opportunity to bid and walked. The current contractor is 20% higher than my buddy.
 
2020-09-25 1:12:31 PM  

great_tigers: Fano: WouldNot all the contractors be desperate for work?

Not at all. Several family members and close friends work in the construction industry. As soon as Suzy homemaker starts to negotiate on price of work, they simply say thanks and walk away. A great buddy of mine bid to complete my neighbor's basement. When the neighbor started biatching about the timeline (12 weeks out), my buddy simply said thanks for the opportunity to bid and walked. The current contractor is 20% higher than my buddy.


What about contractors that DONT have any self respect?
 
2020-09-25 1:17:16 PM  

great_tigers: Fano: WouldNot all the contractors be desperate for work?

Not at all. Several family members and close friends work in the construction industry. As soon as Suzy homemaker starts to negotiate on price of work, they simply say thanks and walk away. A great buddy of mine bid to complete my neighbor's basement. When the neighbor started biatching about the timeline (12 weeks out), my buddy simply said thanks for the opportunity to bid and walked. The current contractor is 20% higher than my buddy.


But, he got the work.
 
2020-09-25 1:26:28 PM  

Fano: WouldNot all the contractors be desperate for work?


What makes you think that? Do prices normally go up when demand is low? You've got a backlog of work from when the lockdown made it illegal to work AND everyone and their dog is realizing that their house is not suited towards having multiple people working/studying at the same time AND you were coming off of a period of very high demand to start with AND interest rates are stupid low right now. There's not a lot of slack in the construction industry even in good times.
 
2020-09-25 1:28:35 PM  

Fano: WouldNot all the contractors be desperate for work?


Back in March when everybody freaked out and wouldn't let you in their house for anything, sure.

That ended right around mid-April. Now there's too many jobs and not nearly enough skilled workers to get things done before the snow starts. There's also a ton of juggling schedules based on which job can actually get all the supplies delivered.

And yeah, anybody who is cheap or a general pain in the rear gets bumped to the end of the line.
 
2020-09-25 1:38:12 PM  
Lumber costs also going through the roof don't help.  I'm trying to get quotes to reside my house and rebuild the back deck/screened in porch and they're 20k or so more than I'm comfortable paying.
 
2020-09-25 1:50:20 PM  
Spend within the scope of your property value.

Of the recommendations, I think this is the one that makes the most sense. For example, you don't want to spend $50K on a kitchen redo for a house that's only worth $150K. Of course, if your house is only worth $150K you may not be able to afford a $50K new kitchen anyway.
 
2020-09-25 2:01:24 PM  

runwiz: Spend within the scope of your property value.

Of the recommendations, I think this is the one that makes the most sense. For example, you don't want to spend $50K on a kitchen redo for a house that's only worth $150K. Of course, if your house is only worth $150K you may not be able to afford a $50K new kitchen anyway.


This is where you get into the conundrum of home values vs renovations -- and to a strong degree, why starter home end up being so unaffordable. A kitchen renovation might be $35k in BFE Montana, but it's only $50 in downtown SF. The underlying home being renovated is $150k vs $1 million. You do the math.

Therefore, for someone to undertake that renovation in BFE, they'll eventually (across the entire market) expect to recoup that cost when they sell.
 
2020-09-25 2:13:47 PM  

FormlessOne: Only if you have someone else do them.


Very true. My uncle charges double to redo plumbing repairs by homeowners.
 
2020-09-25 2:19:19 PM  
Thanks to tariffs and fire and covid lumber prices have doubled this year. Also, this guy knows something about the buy side. He knows nothing about remodeling. If you call me and say I'm one of three bids and you're going with the low one I'm throwing the call in the garbage because I'm scheduled out 18 months. I'm fine with bidding against others and do it all the time. And I'll give you a general range for nothing. If you want me to spend 40-80 hours on a full format estimate I can guarantee I'm getting paid to do it. But all our work is multi six figures and requires drawings and a permit and engineering - I can't do it on the back of a paper sack.
 
2020-09-25 2:26:24 PM  

Liadan: Now there's too many jobs and not nearly enough skilled workers to get things done


Anyone who thinks GCs are begging for work in the seattle area are going to be extremely surprised when they call one. I don't know what everyone has been paying attention to but there is this national thing going on that has led millions of people to spend an unprecedented amount of time in their primary residence, which is now more crowded that it has ever been and being used for purposes it was not built for. Thus, everyone wants to expand, improve, and change at the same time.
 
2020-09-25 2:29:07 PM  
I am paying off my mortgage in October so I will be one of those billionaire homeowners!
 
2020-09-25 2:32:54 PM  
I own a house. You're saying I'm due a billion dollars?

HempHead: FormlessOne: Only if you have someone else do them.

Very true. My uncle charges double to redo plumbing repairs by homeowners.


The last plumber I had was to install a tankless water heater, and I had to show him how to figure out which of the electrical wires coming out of the electrical plug lead was the ground. He was calling the manufacturer trying to get through and getting increasingly upset. I know it's an age of specialization, but how can somebody in a trade not know something as basic as which wire does what?
 
2020-09-25 2:47:31 PM  
We're in week 3 of a 6 week project for new siding, doors, windows, deck, and hvac improvements. We started planning this in March, figuring the covid thing would be under control by now. Ha ha

The hvac will include a whole-house hepa filter and fresh air exchange.

One side is done (the largest and most difficult) and only 2 windows left to do.

Also getting new soffit, fascia and gutters, and new garage doors.

The inside still needs work, but maybe when it's safe to have people in your house again.
 
2020-09-25 3:29:11 PM  
Also, this article should be subtitled... What I do is valuable and I should be well compensated for it. What you do should be inexpensive and anyone could do it.
 
2020-09-25 3:43:41 PM  
The bids I was getting on projects pre-COVID were all coming with bad signs the people bidding had no clue WTF they were doing, or else felt like eff-off prices. I can't imagine what it's like now.

/ So now I'm doing most of it.
// Gotten pretty farking good at tiling floors, though, which is nice I guess.
 
2020-09-25 3:51:44 PM  

jjorsett: I own a house. You're saying I'm due a billion dollars?
HempHead: FormlessOne: Only if you have someone else do them.

Very true. My uncle charges double to redo plumbing repairs by homeowners.

The last plumber I had was to install a tankless water heater, and I had to show him how to figure out which of the electrical wires coming out of the electrical plug lead was the ground. He was calling the manufacturer trying to get through and getting increasingly upset. I know it's an age of specialization, but how can somebody in a trade not know something as basic as which wire does what?


Because inexperienced home owners will hire inexperienced plumbers?
 
2020-09-25 3:52:27 PM  

jjorsett: The last plumber I had was to install a tankless water heater, and I had to show him how to figure out which of the electrical wires coming out of the electrical plug lead was the ground. He was calling the manufacturer trying to get through and getting increasingly upset. I know it's an age of specialization, but how can somebody in a trade not know something as basic as which wire does what?


Some of them figure it out during their years of apprenticeship and become good plumbers. Too many of them enter the program with absolutely zero knowledge of anything, and even more distressing, ZERO natural curiosity to learn things on their own. They get placed with a company that does all new construction and that's all they do. Nobody takes a minute to show them anything about repair or remodeling and they can't be bothered to learn it themselves. It makes my brother pull his hair out because he'll hire an apprentice who had glowing reviews and good grades only to discover the kid functions like the one who came to your house.

It's happening in all the trades. Really anything that requires hand work is struggling to find people who can actually DO the work, and there's so much work to be done that an alarming number of companies are hiring people just to have bodies in the trucks.
 
2020-09-25 3:57:44 PM  

Liadan: It's happening in all the trades. Really anything that requires hand work is struggling to find people who can actually DO the work, and there's so much work to be done that an alarming number of companies are hiring people just to have bodies in the trucks.


It probably doesn't help that the skills, brains, and inclinations that make an excellent apprentice plumber or electrician are probably about the same as those for a mid-tier computer programmer. But that pays much better coontil you're up in "own a plumbing company with a dozen employees" territory) and tends to be more flexible on things like work hours, plus is (somewhat) higher-prestige.
 
2020-09-25 4:12:32 PM  

Liadan: It's happening in all the trades. Really anything that requires hand work is struggling to find people who can actually DO the work, and there's so much work to be done that an alarming number of companies are hiring people just to have bodies in the trucks.


This. Skilled labor is thin on the ground. But unemployment is high so jackasses like the guy who wrote the article seem to think everyone should be happy to just have something to do. It's still extremely difficult to find well qualified carpenters, electricians and plumbers.
 
2020-09-25 4:14:55 PM  
external-content.duckduckgo.comView Full Size


Shiplap.
 
2020-09-25 4:16:49 PM  

fallingcow: But that pays much better coontil you're up in "own a plumbing company with a dozen employees" territory) and tends to be more flexible on things like work hours, plus is (somewhat) higher-prestige.


A relative of mine owned just such a plumbing company.  (He sold it a couple years back and moved to the coast.)  Let's just say his house was very, very nice and leave it at that.

/gosh, is it nice to have a relative who is a plumber
 
2020-09-25 4:18:04 PM  
I've come to find out that all normal home improvements cost twice as much and take three times as longer. So is the new norm 2x2+3x2?

/C- in college algebra. But only because I wasn't applying myself.
 
2020-09-25 4:41:36 PM  

stevesporn2000: Fano: WouldNot all the contractors be desperate for work?

What makes you think that? Do prices normally go up when demand is low? You've got a backlog of work from when the lockdown made it illegal to work AND everyone and their dog is realizing that their house is not suited towards having multiple people working/studying at the same time AND you were coming off of a period of very high demand to start with AND interest rates are stupid low right now. There's not a lot of slack in the construction industry even in good times.


Seriously.  Not just interest rates, but people are flush with money thanks to:

- not spending on vacations
- not spending on gas
- not spending on entertainment
- insurance discounts
- a "stimulus" check that arrived when everything was closed

Pair that with another savings due to refis, some with cash-out for renovations, and it seems like everyone is renovating.

/lots of those renovation "gutting the kitchen and bathrooms" dumpsters around me as of late
//replaced the furnace a few months back and they said they feared a slowdown, but sitting around at home seemed to remind everyone that their HVAC needed work.
///thanks to the Fark headline, I now know I'm a billionaire!
 
2020-09-25 4:59:38 PM  
Izunbacolsitting around at home seemed to remind everyone that their HVAC needed work.

They were actually home to hear the AC straining in the middle of the afternoon, and listening to the news all day inspired the installation of a buttload of water filtrations systems and air filters. There's also been a whole bunch of dishwasher, garbage disposal, and sink waste repair/replacement as people who previously broke everything in the office break room are home breaking their own stuff.

Right now everyone in my neighborhood seems to be replacing their deck or installing a fence. Turns out actually interacting with the neighbors while they all sat on their laptops in the backyard wasn't the shiny happy moment they dreamed of.
 
2020-09-25 5:19:40 PM  

Fano: WouldNot all the contractors be desperate for work?


We are getting some trees removed ... in December.  That was the earliest time they could schedule us.
 
2020-09-25 5:27:09 PM  

Liadan: Izunbacol: sitting around at home seemed to remind everyone that their HVAC needed work.

They were actually home to hear the AC straining in the middle of the afternoon, and listening to the news all day inspired the installation of a buttload of water filtrations systems and air filters. There's also been a whole bunch of dishwasher, garbage disposal, and sink waste repair/replacement as people who previously broke everything in the office break room are home breaking their own stuff.

Right now everyone in my neighborhood seems to be replacing their deck or installing a fence. Turns out actually interacting with the neighbors while they all sat on their laptops in the backyard wasn't the shiny happy moment they dreamed of.


I can see 17 yards from my back stoop. I have a vision of wood bowers and hanging vines that go 10' up and can withstand wind so the wife and  I can have some privacy in the pool.
 
2020-09-25 5:28:02 PM  

Fano: WouldNot all the contractors be desperate for work?


That, dog, is a hard no. Maybe dudes that build office buildings. Dudes that remodel houses can take their pick right now. Been here 30 years - literally never been busier.
 
2020-09-25 5:34:05 PM  

fallingcow: The bids I was getting on projects pre-COVID were all coming with bad signs the people bidding had no clue WTF they were doing, or else felt like eff-off prices. I can't imagine what it's like now.

/ So now I'm doing most of it.
// Gotten pretty farking good at tiling floors, though, which is nice I guess.


Now that you have mastered tiling you need to redo all the tiling jobs you did in your house because you know where all the mistakes are and it drives you crazy.
 
2020-09-25 5:36:25 PM  

fallingcow: Liadan: It's happening in all the trades. Really anything that requires hand work is struggling to find people who can actually DO the work, and there's so much work to be done that an alarming number of companies are hiring people just to have bodies in the trucks.

It probably doesn't help that the skills, brains, and inclinations that make an excellent apprentice plumber or electrician are probably about the same as those for a mid-tier computer programmer. But that pays much better coontil you're up in "own a plumbing company with a dozen employees" territory) and tends to be more flexible on things like work hours, plus is (somewhat) higher-prestige.


You still come home covered in shiat each day.   At least the plumber's covered in other people's.
 
2020-09-25 5:38:14 PM  
The Googles Do Nothing:

Heh, that's a fact. I know one somewhat crooked line and a slightly-raised tile corner in the first bathroom I did. Exactly where they are. They haunt me in my dreams.

But even that one's better than the average tile floor I've seen in other houses, so I don't feel too bad. And I know I put it down right, probably with a lot more care and attention to best-practices than many of the "pros", judging from some of the contractor forums I read when figuring out how I wanted to do it.
 
2020-09-25 5:39:49 PM  

fallingcow: The Googles Do Nothing:

Heh, that's a fact. I know one somewhat crooked line and a slightly-raised tile corner in the first bathroom I did. Exactly where they are. They haunt me in my dreams.

But even that one's better than the average tile floor I've seen in other houses, so I don't feel too bad. And I know I put it down right, probably with a lot more care and attention to best-practices than many of the "pros", judging from some of the contractor forums I read when figuring out how I wanted to do it.


I'm the same.  Once I started noticing the mistakes I paid a contractor to do I started learning to make those same mistakes for free.
 
2020-09-25 5:50:57 PM  

The Googles Do Nothing: fallingcow: The Googles Do Nothing:

Heh, that's a fact. I know one somewhat crooked line and a slightly-raised tile corner in the first bathroom I did. Exactly where they are. They haunt me in my dreams.

But even that one's better than the average tile floor I've seen in other houses, so I don't feel too bad. And I know I put it down right, probably with a lot more care and attention to best-practices than many of the "pros", judging from some of the contractor forums I read when figuring out how I wanted to do it.

I'm the same.  Once I started noticing the mistakes I paid a contractor to do I started learning to make those same mistakes for free.


Hahaha, yeah, pretty much that. We've moved several times so I've looked at a lot of houses, and I know I'm doing better than most of the other DIYers and enough of the "pros" that I don't feel too bad about my occasional fark-ups, considering how much money I save. To be clear, plenty of the pros are a hell of a lot better than me and just about all of them work much faster, but I can't afford the good ones, unless they're just starting out and badly under-charging. I save that money for jobs I either can't, or really, really don't want to, do. Get a ton more done, total, for the money.

Still can't mud anything bigger than a few feet of clean drywall seam, or anything remotely complicated or messy, without it looking like shiat. I know my limits. I hire those out when I can. Probably will never do that regularly-enough to get really good at it.
 
2020-09-25 6:12:51 PM  

Fano: WouldNot all the contractors be desperate for work?


Right now, no. Several of my clients are conteactors and are just up to their eyeballs in remodeling work. A lot of businesses needed to hire folk to install all that plexiglass and with banks practically giving loans away it is not a buyers market.
 
2020-09-25 7:57:09 PM  

akya: FormlessOne: Only if you have someone else do them.

If your house is worth $1 million, for example, I highly suggest keeping the budget at most 10% of your home value ($100,000).

...ah, this article isn't for me. It really is for rich assholes worried about whether they will get that new electric car charger or recessed lighting as part of their overall remodeling project. It's not for folks like me.

Yep.  Basically written for this group of "sad sacks"
[si.wsj.net image 850x560]

First tax increases, now higher remodeling costs!? when will this great injustice end?


I've seen that before, but can someone fill me in. Is it a joke or something from the onion?
 
2020-09-25 11:23:01 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: Is it a joke or something from the onion?


No. People are just detached from reality.
 
2020-09-26 12:35:14 AM  
Yup. I'll preface this by saying I'm an architect. A commercial architect, but one just the same.

The wife and in refinanced our house recently and started making plans for an extensive remodel. In commercial construction, and with pulling in a few favors and doing some of the work myself, I figured we'd be looking at a $75k invoice at the end.

That is, until we started getting actual estimates. They ranged from $120k to $200k. I just about shiat my pants.

The commercial sector hasn't been affected by COVID from what I can tell, which is weird and tells you just how made up these estimates are in the first place.
 
2020-09-26 1:55:38 AM  

HempHead: jjorsett: I own a house. You're saying I'm due a billion dollars?
HempHead: FormlessOne: Only if you have someone else do them.

Very true. My uncle charges double to redo plumbing repairs by homeowners.

The last plumber I had was to install a tankless water heater, and I had to show him how to figure out which of the electrical wires coming out of the electrical plug lead was the ground. He was calling the manufacturer trying to get through and getting increasingly upset. I know it's an age of specialization, but how can somebody in a trade not know something as basic as which wire does what?

Because inexperienced home owners will hire inexperienced plumbers?


And because plumbers don't normally do electrical work and shouldn't be trusted with it, ever!
 
2020-09-26 2:07:37 AM  

The Googles Do Nothing: fallingcow: Liadan: It's happening in all the trades. Really anything that requires hand work is struggling to find people who can actually DO the work, and there's so much work to be done that an alarming number of companies are hiring people just to have bodies in the trucks.

It probably doesn't help that the skills, brains, and inclinations that make an excellent apprentice plumber or electrician are probably about the same as those for a mid-tier computer programmer. But that pays much better coontil you're up in "own a plumbing company with a dozen employees" territory) and tends to be more flexible on things like work hours, plus is (somewhat) higher-prestige.

You still come home covered in shiat each day.   At least the plumber's covered in other people's.


You, keep your kinks to yourself
 
2020-09-26 7:52:28 AM  
We worked through the lockdown and have been busier than ever since then. Lots of decks. Lots of people working from home with parents and relatives from more infected states are staying longer.
 
2020-09-26 8:40:24 AM  

runwiz: Spend within the scope of your property value.

Of the recommendations, I think this is the one that makes the most sense. For example, you don't want to spend $50K on a kitchen redo for a house that's only worth $150K. Of course, if your house is only worth $150K you may not be able to afford a $50K new kitchen anyway.


Not everyone mortgages themselves to the max. My wife and I live in a 150k house. We could easily update the kitchen and add a second story, but we simply do not need it.
 
2020-09-26 10:11:54 AM  
Another thing that f-ed up my reno?

ALL YOU RICH MF'ERS (yes I know I am on fark but all the families that have to put up with us 24/7 instead of 14/5 now need more space) took all the equipment.

Tankless hot water heaters, furnaces, refridgerators, and ducting equipment all was backordered.  I have plaster and flooring pros who have backlogs in weeks.

I went through 6 plumbers because they have so many one day jobs (super lucrative things like upsizing gas lines and plumbing new water heaters) they laughed at pulling the steam pipes out of my walls.

The article is 100% right on the headline, but I am not taking it out on the labor.  Those folks do a hard job and should get paid for it.

What I don't love is that it completely omits that a good contractor doesn't want to work in the same space as another contractor.  They don't want to expose themselves to all the flooring guys/gals while they are laying pipe.  Or the blueboard folks don't want to hang with the ducting team because they got to watch whom they are around as well.

Stuff takes longer because you can't have everyone working at once.
 
2020-09-26 11:04:27 AM  

akya: FormlessOne: Only if you have someone else do them.

If your house is worth $1 million, for example, I highly suggest keeping the budget at most 10% of your home value ($100,000).

...ah, this article isn't for me. It really is for rich assholes worried about whether they will get that new electric car charger or recessed lighting as part of their overall remodeling project. It's not for folks like me.

Yep.  Basically written for this group of "sad sacks"
[si.wsj.net image 850x560]

First tax increases, now higher remodeling costs!? when will this great injustice end?


They forgot to include the almost $3,400 per month in child support alone, not to mention what the spouse support income would be for the poor rich single mother.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
Displayed 48 of 48 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking




On Twitter



  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.