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Considering home renovations? Local companies still facing delays, product scarcities

There is hope on the horizon, according to some companies, who say things are slowly getting better.
Published: May. 22, 2022 at 5:50 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Like nearly every other industry, home improvement companies are still challenged with product scarcities and long shipping times. It’s an ongoing impact from the pandemic.

Some homeowners have put off their renovations altogether. But local remodeling companies say there is some good news nearing as supply and shipping conditions are slowly improving.

At her lower Manoa home, retired teacher Linda Uyehara can finally enjoy her newly renovated space.

“It’s very comfortable now and convenient,” Uyehara said.

She hired a contractor for a $97,000 renovation, which included the remodeling of two bathrooms, and a portion of her downstairs, complete with new windows and cabinets.

But getting to that point of completion was a long process dating back to July 2021.

“He (the contractor) anticipated we would be done in November. Well, there were lots and lots of delays because of the supplies,” she said.

Work wasn’t finished until April of this year.

“He was more frustrated, I think, than I was because he had to deal with the people on the mainland — you know, waiting for the deliveries,” she said.

Across the board, home renovations are still in high demand. Local renovation companies say customers are coming to them and having to wait longer for jobs to be finished.

“Now it’s kind of about 12-16 weeks for any long lead or special items that we have to order for any of our jobs. That’s almost double than what we had before Covid or pre-Covid,” said Laren Terukina, member of Hoa Aloha Design Group’s marketing & design team.

These delays are hitting Hawaii companies harder than their mainland counterparts.

“Especially here in Hawaii, we’re always going to be at the mercy of supply chain challenges,” City Mill’s Marketing Manager Shannan Okinishi said. “There’s probably also delays from permitting all the way to product delays to even labor shortages. I think It’s definitely a trickle down effect.”

But as pandemic-induced scarcities rebound and industries regain a strong workforce, companies say there is hope on the horizon.

“Things are definitely improving. For us, we do have to be mindful what long lead items we need to order first and what we can kind of get away with in an emergency,” Terukina said.

The message here: “If you know you have a project, start early. Don’t wait till the last minute to look for the products that you’re gonna need,” Okinishi added.

Meanwhile, had Uyehara known about the delays they encountered during the process, she say she too would have put off the renovations. But at the end of it all, she was happy with the finished product.

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