6 Ways to Bypass Back-Ended Appliances to Keep Your Kitchen Renovation On Track
Kitchen renovations almost always involve difficult decisions around the function, style, and budget, but pulling one off in 2021 can be especially tough. Major household appliances, such as refrigerators, stoves and dishwashers, are scarce across the country, with back orders and shipping delays making it difficult for homeowners to complete their dream kitchen in right time. According to data from the National Association of Home Builders, 95% of home builders reported a shortage of home appliances in May 2021, the most prevalent supply issue for an item ever reported by the NAHB.
Many of these delays can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prompted some manufacturers to cut production, notes Melissa Haber, vice president of EuroChef United States, which matters Verona household appliances. Combined with low supplies and rising raw material costs, this created shortages of essential components such as microchips, stainless steel and plastics, as well as shipping containers used to transport products. And as more homeowners plan to update their kitchens after more than a year of cooking and dining at home for most meals, high demand is further compounding these supply chain disruptions.
Out-of-stock products and long delivery times are now the norm, with some owners waiting up to nine months for a refrigerator to arrive, says Nashville-based designer Jessica Davis. JL Conception. But if you’re in the middle of a renovation, you often can’t afford to do without a working cooking space for months. Here are a few ways to get around back orders and delays so you can get your kitchen done as quickly as possible.
1. Order your devices in advance.
Plan for delays when creating a schedule for your kitchen remodeling. Order devices well in advance and allow extra time for them to arrive. “We make sure to work with our customers to place orders and obtain estimated shipping dates and arrivals before the renovation begins to try to avoid delays,” says Scottsdale designer Lauren Lerner of Living with Lolo. Once you’ve started tearing down the old kitchen, you don’t want to have to wait an extra few weeks (or even months) for your new dishwasher or refrigerator to arrive.
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2. Be flexible with styles, sizes and brands.
Insisting on a particular style or brand can cause long delays if that product is out of stock. Flexibility can therefore be the key to completing your renovation on time. Consider whether this gas stove is really a must-have, for example, or if you could settle for an electric or dual-fuel model instead, suggests Haber. Try swapping out a similar model from a different brand, adjusting for a smaller size or mixing stainless steel and colored fixtures. Settling for a slightly different product could help you cook much faster in your new kitchen.
3. Work with a professional.
Kitchen renovations can be stressful, especially when it comes to ever-changing delays and deadlines. Hiring a designer or project manager to handle the smallest details can help relieve much of this stress. Lerner says his best advice is to work with an experienced professional who can handle your appliance orders and effectively plan the project around delivery dates. This can help ensure that everything arrives on time for installation so that you don’t have to deal with a renovation longer than necessary. Some design professionals also have long-standing relationships with suppliers who will go out of their way to help you with any delays, Lerner adds.
4. In the meantime, install a temporary kitchen.
If you’re expecting devices that are out of stock, consider temporary solutions that can help you out in the meantime. Davis says one of his clients set up a makeshift kitchen in another room with a portable grill, their old refrigerator, and extra storage bins to use while their renovation is complete. In some cases, appliance sellers might be willing to provide a temporary substitute until your new refrigerator or range arrives. Be prepared to adjust in the meantime if you want to continue cooking and eating at home.
5. Push back on your renovation plans.
Haber says she expects product shortages and longer delivery times to continue for another 12 to 18 months. If you’d rather not face limited product options and extended lead times, it might be best to put your renovation plans on hold for now. Waiting for demand to normalize and supply chain challenges to ease could make your kitchen remodel run smoother.
6. Have patience.
If you’re about to embark on a kitchen remodel or in the process of renovating, set realistic expectations for your project and be patient if things don’t go exactly as planned. “I encourage homeowners to know that the project will be done and that everyone is doing their best,” said Davis. “If you are going to embark on a remodel anytime soon, you have to be laid back enough to handle some of the delays and canceled orders.”