by Jenny Smedra
Since summer is just around the corner, my family usually takes care of the outdoor home improvement projects at this time of year. The garden is planted and the gardening work is shared among everyone. However, inflation and the price of building materials are preventing many of our home improvement projects. Unfortunately, we’re facing a necessary repair with a price tag I’m not sure we can afford.
The home improvement project
My mom keeps a long honey-do list every year. But for a few years now, a nagging point has been at the top of the list. Our deck has been in dire need of repair for about five years. It has withstood the elements for nearly 30 years so we all agree that the time has come to give it the TLC it needs. While most of the frames and joists are in good condition, the actual paving is slowly rotting away. It seems like every time someone goes outside, a new board creaks or a different hole pops up. Although it is not in immediate danger of collapse, it cannot be left unattended for long.
In the past, my dad may have tried to do the updates himself. However, health conditions have removed this option. The only way we can take care of it is to hire a professional.
How inflation and shortages affect home improvement
After much discussion and reflection, my father called a local contractor three years ago to get an estimate. However, when he saw the last balance sheet, he shrank back. He thought $ 5,000 was too much to pay for a job he could do himself. So he postponed it. Now we’re here two years later. We are in a situation where we cannot avoid the problem for much longer, but the cost of building materials has skyrocketed. It’s a classic example of how hesitant to make a decision bites you in the butt. While deck building and repairs are always costly, the latest estimate was twice the original bid. What is worse is that we have called almost every contractor in the Omaha area and no one is able to make up for this look for your project by spring. Some even have records giving recommendations to other companies as they have already been posted in the future.
We’re not the only ones experiencing these issues. Rising inflation of building materials is affecting all home improvement and construction projects for everyone. Even large projects have been delayed due to the increased cost of steel and wood. And while prices have already hit recent highs, it seems like it will only keep rising until supply chains catch up with demand.
Stuck between a rock and a hard place
That brings me to my current position of beings stuck between the metaphorical rock and a hard place. Since it’s not my home, it’s not my choice. But my mother asked for help after several failed attempts to speak to him. She feels that she has waited long enough and wants to be able to use the outside area again. While it may not be my place, sometimes I’m the only person who can communicate with him about financial matters. My question is: what’s the best way to go about it?
We have a good relationship with the first contractor who made us a fair offer. Since we can keep most of the original structure of the deck, all we need to do is replace the deck and railings. We also found cheaper options for the spindles that save the final bill. All in all, we want to spend $ 8,000-10,000 to complete the repairs.
However, my father has a strong dislike for spending money. His fear of spending money has been crippling in the past. And since he makes the final decisions, it will be a tough sell. I suspect he might want to wait a little longer to see if the cost of building materials goes down. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if this is a gamble that we can play.
I am in a precarious situation, but I want the best for everyone. While we could wait another year, it could get even more expensive later. Even the pros say we shouldn’t wait any longer. What’s the fairest way to deal with this without stepping on your toes?