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Four Home Design Trends for 2022

Residential home design is experiencing a major aesthetics shift, especially since spending significant amounts of time at home is now the expected normal  for most individuals in the foreseeable future. 

More time at home means less minimalism and more natural, organic, and inviting designs. From reconsidering synthetic materials to changing up the all-white color scheme, here’s what we can expect to see from residential designers in 2022.

Go Natural

Increased natural elements in the home, also known as Biophilic Design, is one of this year’s biggest residential design trends. Organic materials, natural lighting, and indoor vegetation are the primary ways you’ll see biophilic design in the home. 

If you’re designing a new space this year, consider adding a sunroom, emphasizing indoor/outdoor living spaces, and choosing natural materials like marble, travertine, and terracotta alongside natural woods and plant-based textiles.

Warm Wood Tones

Although part of the general trend toward biophilic design, a return to natural wood tones is a standalone trend worth investing in this year. After years of all white kitchens and paired with dark or gray flooring, natural wood tones are seeing a big resurgence in home design. 

Look for natural wood as the primary material for kitchen cabinets, flooring, and furniture used throughout the home. But unlike their predecessors in the 90’s and early 2000’s that tended to be stained an orange or yellow color, today’s wood materials use natural stains, emphasize imperfections in the grain, and use reclaimed elements to create an easy and approachable aesthetic. 

Metal Moment

While natural materials dominate the 2022 home design trends, metal building materials are having their own moment. 

From metal roofs and exposed beams to window frames and exterior accent pieces, metal is an eco-friendly and durable material that offers the perfect contrast to the softer, earthier feel of natural wood and stone. 

Curves Ahead

Part of what made the all-white and gray minimalist aesthetic that dominated home design over the past decade so effective was the modern and contemporary architecture styles that favored straight lines and modular block shapes.

Many of the upcoming 2022 design trends are a direct reaction to this minimalist approach, which means arches, curves, and rounded shapes are a major part of the latest residential designs. Arched windows and doorways are popular, as are curved exterior walls, rounded interior walls, and curved walkways or halls.

Get Your Team for 2022

When you’re ready to design a new house or remodel your current home, you’ll need the right team. Home Planning Hawaii helps homeowners find the best professionals for all their residential construction projects, so contact us today to get started—and make sure to check out our free online calculator to determine the cost of your next project!  

Go Broke: Reinventing the Broken Floor Plan

As architects and designers anticipate upcoming home design trends for  2022, homeowners might see something unexpected on the horizon: the decline of the (currently ubiquitous) open-concept floor plan. 

While HGTV and home renovation shows helped make the open-concept floor plan seem almost mandatory for homeowners, we began tracking the rise of the “broken-concept” floor-plan last fall.

And while a broken or closed concept living hasn’t reached the same level of popularity as open concept and combined living spaces, it continues to become more and more popular for homeowners. Both those looking to renovate an existing closed/broken concept home, or even build a new one of their own.

But today’s broken concept floor plan looks nothing like it’s closed concept predecessors from the 1930’s and 40’s. Today’s versions focus on functionality and flexibility, which allow the home to meet the needs of each occupant while making it easy to adapt and change the purpose of the space as needed. 

Think a broken concept home might be right for you? Here’s three things to keep in mind.

Go broke, not conceptely closed

Everyone has either lived or visited a completely closed concept home. Oftentimes, these spaces feel too-small and cumbersome—regardless of the square footage. 

Afterall, needing to walk through a separate room or hallway in order to transport food from the kitchen to a formal dining room seems like a strange design choice. So does putting all the communal entertaining space in a basement away from the rest of the home. 

So while no one wants a return to the basement “tv room,” there are some benefits to creating zones and breaking the flow of your living spaces. 

Half walls, interior windows, and screened partitions—think a beautifully-designed wood option like this one— can help partially separate dining and living spaces from the noise (and mess) of the kitchen while still maintaining sight lines and  allowing people to move freely. 

Follow the light

Interior windows and glass walls are also great options for separating home offices or gym spaces because they  create a degree of privacy without isolating the room from the rest of the house. 

But more importantly, these features allow natural light into the home, another common complaint when discussing traditionally closed or broken concept houses. 

When designing a broken concept home, always be sure each space has its own significant source of natural light. Whether that’s a large picture window, overhead skylight, or set of sliding doors, providing enough light to each room will prevent occupants from feeling like the room is too small for comfort. 

Consider a change of pace

Using a change in elevation to differentiate areas of the home is another way to “break up” an otherwise open floor plan. Steps down into a lounge area or between the kitchen and dining room can help designate the different zones and functions of a space. 

Of course, additional steps aren’t always an option for homeowners prioritizing accessibility. In that case, consider raising the ceiling height in certain rooms to create a lofted ceiling. When paired with an exterior wall filled with windows, this is a dramatic and effective way to signify a transition between spaces. 

Find your team

Ready to break-up with your open floor plan? Contact us today to find the best architects, designers, and contractors for your project. And when it’s time to break down the budget, be sure to check out our free online estimator for help estimating the cost of your next project. 

Drafter vs Architect: What’s the difference?

When it comes to building or remodeling a home, it’s important to find the right team of professionals to meet your expectations and needs.

From finding a reliable and experienced contractor to interviewing architects, drafters, and designers it can be challenging to know who you need for a major construction project.  

One of the first decisions to make as a homeowner is whether or not to hire an architect, drafter, or both, especially as you start mapping out your budget.

And while there are some similarities in the roles an architect and a drafter play in designing your future home, their jobs are not entirely the same. Understanding the differences between the two will help you know who to hire, when, and what to expect once you get started on your project. 

Architect vs. Drafter

There are a few major differences between a drafter and an architect. An architect is responsible for creating the overall design of the building. 

Architects create a design based on required building codes, safety considerations, and the intended function of a space— as well as aesthetic considerations and the preferences of the client. 

A drafter or draftsperson produces the technical drawings and plans used by the contractor and construction team in order to build or remodel a building or home. When working with an architect, the drafter will use the architect’s plan in order to make the technical plans or blueprints for the project.

A most important difference between an architect or a drafter is that an architect is licensed within the jurisdiction where they practice. Additionally, Architects are required to be involved in the project until it is completed.

In Hawaii, the building department requires permit drawings for construction projects valued at $50K or more. These drawings must be stamped and signed by either a licensed architect or structural engineer.

The stamp provided by a registered professional is governed by the State of Hawaii licensing board.  When plans are stamped the following statement is required below the stamp: “This work was prepared by me or under my supervision.  Construction of this project will be under my observation.”  

Some architects and engineers also have the following statement: “Supervision as defined in Title XVI, Chapter 115, Section 16-115-2 of the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Professional Engineers, Architects and Surveyors of the State of Hawaii.”

On the other hand, a drafting company is a person or entity that provides drafting services only.  There is no license required for a draftsperson.

Drafting companies normally have relationships with either a licensed architect or structural engineer and will provide a cost to the client for these services in addition to the drafting services provided. They are not involved with the project from beginning to end. 

Knowing Who to Hire

So when it comes to remodeling or building a new home, who should you hire? Do you need  to hire both? Can you get away with hiring only a draftsman and an experienced contractor? 

It depends on the scope of your project and  the type of home being built. 

A qualified architect’s extensive education and experience means that their services are often more expensive than a drafters. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid hiring one in an attempt to save money. Architects can often provide insight and design expertise that a drafter can’t, which will save you money long term by preventing costly construction issues.

However, some projects are straightforward enough that a draftsman is perfectly capable of completing the required plans. In those situations, hiring an architect might be unnecessary. 

Things to Consider

If you are building a new home designed by a residential construction company as part of a new development, an architect is most likely unnecessary. 

Your builder will provide the plans for the home, and you might hire a draftsman only if you plan on making some personalized changes to the provided plans—like adding an outdoor kitchen, porch, or other additions not included in the builder upgrade options.

Additionally, if you are remodeling your home and the remodel is fairly simple and primarily occurring within the original footprint of the home, a drafter can be very useful in creating blueprints and plans for your new kitchen layout or bathroom renovation. 

Drafters have the skills necessary to understand the construction, electrical, and plumbing requirements for these types of projects, and can help ensure you get the results you want.

On the other hand, if you are designing a completely original home, resist the urge to save money and rely on a draftsman to design your home plan. 

Unless your home relies very heavily on existing blueprints from other homes, a drafter rarely has the design background or foundational knowledge to design a new home completely from scratch.

Similarly, if you are planning a complicated remodel that includes additions to the existing layout, an architect is usually necessary to help you make the best use of both your existing and new spaces. 

Architects are also experts in matching your new addition to the existing style of your house, which can prevent your addition from looking too obviously different from the rest of your home. 

Contact Us

If you’re wondering where to find the right professionals for your project, or you’re still not sure if an architect or drafter is right for you, it’s time to contact Home Planning Hawaii. 

We can help you determine the best fit for your project, as well as connect you with the experienced professionals  needed for every phase of construction. And don’t forget to check out our free online estimator as you get started on your budget!

Planning an Open Concept Floor Plan

Are open concept floor plans on their way out? Some interior designers and architects think so, especially in the wake of a pandemic that kept everyone at home for months—and therefore in desperate need of more privacy and less sprawling common areas.

But it’s probably inaccurate to assume that people are ready to return to homes with plenty of walls and clearly delineated rooms. In fact, it might be more accurate to say that open concept isn’t dead, it’s just evolving to better suit our collective needs.

Because despite the almost universal appeal of open concept floor plans, it can be very challenging to do it right—and there’s always the risk of designing an especially large storage room instead of a functional space.

Fortunately, 2021’s open concept designs look a little different from what you’ve seen on home decorating shows. And if you’re planning on building or remodeling a home, it’s crucial that you understand the basics in making an open or semi open floor plan work for you. Here’s our tips for making an open concept floor plan work for you.

Start with the End in Sight

Ever wonder what an interior designer actually does? If the architect designs the home and the contractor/builder oversees construction, do you really need another professional involved? 

There’s a common misconception that an interior designer is the same as an interior decorator, someone who helps you pick out furnishings and curtains as the final step before moving in.

But while an interior decorator can be a very useful asset, an interior designer is the person who prevents the number one mistake in open concept floor plans: the creation of that large box with no differentiation between spaces and tons of wasted square footage. 

Whether you plan to hire an interior designer or not, it is important to think like one when planning your future home. A few things to consider:

  • What purpose will your open concept space encompass outside of the kitchen area? Dining? Entertaining? Relaxation? Even if you don’t have physical walls, these spaces will still need to be clearly delineated. 
  • What decisions need to be made before and/or during construction? Considerations like lighting, major appliances, built-ins, pocket doors, or non-traditional partial walls are all things that need to be decided before the final phases of construction, not after. 
  • Remember, it’s expensive and difficult to reconfigure electrical systems or install built-ins for an entertainment center after the major construction is complete. But all too often, homeowners plan for an open concept design assuming they’ll figure out how to fill the space after they move in. 

Coordinate and Separate

Open concept floor plans mean everyone sees the majority of public spaces within the home at the same time. So if the kitchen is done in an entirely different design style than entertaining or dining areas, it’s much more obvious than in a closed concept home. 

That’s why it’s important to coordinate spaces without going too far in the other direction and matching everything so perfectly the space looks staged instead of thoughtfully coordinated. Uniform flooring, wall treatments, and color schemes are perfect when paired with a variety of furniture styles, textiles, and accent colors. 

Additionally, an open concept floor plan is best executed using clearly defined and separated “zones” for the kitchen, dining, and lounge/entertainment areas. Instead of pushing furniture and accessories against the walls in order to maintain the “open” space, create intentional separations throughout the area.

Separate dining and seating areas by placing tables and sofas horizontally or diagonally, allowing them to act as visual (but not literal) walls. Rugs, lamps, and other accessories can also help act as visual cues to transition people through different zones.

An open concept home is the result of a team effort. So make sure you’ve got the best professionals available to design, build, and coordinate every space in the house. Contact us today to start building your team right alongside your floorplans, and don’t forget to get started on budgeting with our free online estimator. 

Bright Ideas: Lighting Design Trends for 2021

Building or remodeling your home? Don’t forget the lights! Lighting design is now a focal point of residential construction, especially with more people working from home, and new technology that makes high-quality lighting design as easy as…well…flipping a switch. Here’s the lighting trends we’ve got our eyes on for 2021 and beyond. 

Be bold

Light fixtures are no longer considered just an appliance—interior designers now see them as an essential part of the overall design of a room. Which means that dramatic, sculptural, and over-sized fixtures are in. 

Not only will this add more visual interest to your room, it can also significantly brighten your space, since many fixtures now contain more bulbs in larger sizes. Worried about the added brightness bringing a little too much intensity? Focal point light fixtures should always be attached to a dimmer to control the ambiance.

What to look for: Oversized chandeliers and statement fixtures in bold, geometric shapes. Floor and table lamps that look more like a fine art sculpture than a light fixture, and lighting made from unique materials like blown glass or textured metals. 

Get Smart

As mentioned before, dimmer fixtures are an essential part of good lighting design. But dimmers aren’t the only way to regulate the brightness of a room. Smart lighting now includes color temperature control, which means you can program your bulbs to give off warmer or cooler light based on the time of day or personal preference.

Some new LED bulbs even mimic natural sunlight, which can help improve mood and relieve stress—making them perfect for your new work-at-home office. And for even more customizability, most high-tech lighting options can now be controlled from an app on your phone, making it easy to dim, brighten, or warm up or cool down the lighting in every room of the house. 

Highlight your faves

Did you know there are three components to good lighting? General, accent, and task lighting are all necessary to achieve a truly well lit space. While many people are great at incorporating general lighting—the overhead lights and fixtures that illuminate the entire space, and task lighting—the lamps and fixtures on desks, end tables, and above kitchen prep areas designed to improve visibility, it’s easy to forget the importance of good accent lighting. 

Accent lights are meant to help highlight parts of the room and draw attention to a specific focal point. Which means they are perfect for highlighting your collection of antique canoe paddles, your art collection, or even the decorative molding along your ceiling. 

Whether it’s your child’s kindergarten masterpieces or your grandpa’s stamp collection, accent lighting is the final detail that makes a room feel truly finished. 

Lighting made easy

Lighting design starts at the beginning of the design process, and isn’t complete until the very last lamp finds it’s perfect spot within your home. That means you’ll need a team of professionals to get it done right—from electricians and contractors to speciality lighting experts. Here’s our bright idea: contact Home Planning Hawaii and let us help you connect with the best professionals for your project. 

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to try our free online estimator to ensure there’s enough room in your construction budget for that truly fantastic chandelier or light fixture. 

Kitchen Trends for 2021

Kitchen design is going through a major and long-awaited overhaul, both as part of the normal trend cycle and in response to the current work-from-home lifestyle maintained by both individuals and families.

A move away from the all-white kitchen was inevitable, especially when the concept became over-saturated on home design shows and social media. But there’s more to the latest kitchen trends than swapping out paint and cabinet colors. 

So if a new kitchen is in your future home design plans, keep reading. Here’s how home design is changing the way we decorate and use one of the most important rooms in the house. 

Photo: Maxime Desbiens, House & Home April, 2019

Kitchens that do more

Recent kitchen design trends favored spaces that looked more like a high-end gourmet restaurant over a residential home. White, minimalist, and high-end appliances were the norm, and designing or remodeling kitchens to conform to the designs seen on TV and social media became a standard part of building or buying a home. 

But the ubutious all-white kitchen is on it’s way out, especially since many homeowners are changing the way they utilize their spaces. Now it’s all about the multifunctional kitchen—a space that not only functions as a place to eat, but also as a place to work, entertain, study, and even just lounge.

More means more

The minimalist aesthetic of the last five years is being replaced with warmer paint and wood tones, as well as an eclectic mix of decorating styles. 

From displaying artwork and kitchen wares to adding texture through textiles and natural building materials, modern kitchens are a fresh mix of both old and new.  This allows the space to truly function as the central part of the home while blending in seamlessly with living spaces and other common areas. 

Return of the pantry

Walk-in pantries are back in a big way, and so are second kitchens. Both were once considered a waste of space or “old-fashioned,” especially since they don’t always work with an open concept floor plan. 

But homeowners are now interested in a kitchen that functions as well as it looks, and that means plenty of storage for food, appliances, and entertaining necessities. Walk-in pantries and second  “butler’s kitchens” provide plenty of storage and food prep space without cluttering the main kitchen and living areas. 

And for smaller spaces, homeowners are foregoing traditional spaces like dining rooms and dens to make room for pantries and prep areas that see a lot more use. 

Get your dream kitchen with Home Planning Hawaii

Whether you’re planning a remodel or a new build, designing the perfect kitchen is crucial. Let Home Planning Hawaii help connect you to the architects, interior designers, builders and contractors you need to create a kitchen that’s both beautiful and  up-to-date. 

Contact us today for more information, and get starting on planning your budget with our free online estimator.

When to Hire an Architect for a Remodel

You love your home—but you’re ready to make some big changes. We’re not talking about your weekend DIY paint job, we’re talking room additions, structural changes, and maybe even removing a wall or two. 

That means it’s time to bring in the professionals. While you’ll definitely need a contractor to execute your project, figuring out whether you need an architect is a little trickier. Some experienced contractors are able to handle a remodel from start to finish, so is paying for an architect really necessary? Let’s find out.

Here’s how you know it’s time to hire an architect: 

  • The cost of the remodel is more than 5% of your home’s value. There are certain projects that can change the appearance of your home, but don’t inherently change the structure of the space. Projects like installing new  cabinets or countertops, replacing the flooring, or installing large-scale features like a fireplace or new tub. 

Because these projects do not change the floorplan of your home and are relatively inexpensive, a contractor is usually more than qualified to get the job done. But if your project could dramatically impact the property value of your home by adding rooms or fundamentally changing the original layout, it’s time to contact an architect. 

  • You want to increase the property value of your home and/or resale your home for a higher price. Remember, projects that could dramatically raise the value of your home are considered major remodels—especially if they completely rearrange the layout of your home.

While there are some highly experienced contractors that can build you a new kitchen or main bedroom and en suite from the ground up, architects create designs that ensure your home maintains it’s value. Contractor created designs don’t always match the overall flow of your home, and could turn off future buyers who don’t want to live with an untrained individual’s design decisions. Using an architect for major remodels ensures that not only is the job done correctly, it’s aesthetically pleasing as well. 

  • You want a detail-oriented liaison between you and your contractor. Without an architect, you are responsible for communicating with your contractor about every aspect of your project, and making every design decision. An architect helps ensure the overall design vision of the project is maintained from start to finish.

An architect can be especially helpful if you are planning a project with a specific aesthetic or design requirements. For example, if you’re hoping to use sustainable materials and energy-efficient technology throughout your home, hiring an architect with experience in that area of construction can be particularly useful. Architects in specialized fields can also help put you in contact with contractors and other professionals needed to reach your construction goals. 

Whether you decide to hire an architect, contractor, or both, Home Planning Hawaii can help you find the right professionals for your job. Contact us today to get started, and don’t forget to check out our free online estimator to begin the budgeting process!

4 Fun Ways to Personalize your New Home

Congratulations, you’re building a new home! You’ve created a budget, you know your “must haves” and you’re ready to start working with architects, contractors, and builders and finally start making your dream home a reality.

And as a responsible homeowner, you know maintaining a realistic budget is crucial to the success of your budget. You’re not getting tempted with unnecessary add-ons, or upending your budget by changing your design every time you see the latest trend in home design.

You’re on the right track, stay on it! But before you finalize your plans and your budget, remember that if you just wanted a functional residence, you’d probably buy an existing home. Your new home needs to be yours, and that means personalizing your space and having a little fun with the design. 

Wondering how to add some fun back into the home design and construction process? Consider adding one or two of the following suggestions to your design plan. Not only are most of them budget-friendly, they might just be the thing you need to keep your enthusiasm alive over the next few months of construction. 

  1. Add in an element of surprise with a secret passage, room, or entrance. This doesn’t need to be elaborate, but swapping out the standard door for a hidden doorway (maybe in the form of a bookcase?) can make an otherwise every day closet into something special and unique.

This is also a great option for side by side kid bedrooms, stairways, loft access, or simply as a way to connect the  main bedroom to an  ensuite or  home office. 

  1. Want to make your kitchen feel like something out of a fancy period television drama? Bring back an updated version of a butler’s pantry. While this may require some budget negotiations, a butler’s pantry doesn’t need to be a major expense. 

Consider reallocating some of your kitchen, dining, or living room space to create a full-service pantry off your kitchen, complete with prep space, additional appliances, and extra food supplies. 

A Butler’s pantry is especially helpful for open concept homes, since it provides prep space for cooking that can be closed off from the main entertaining and central living areas. Just think, hiding your cooking mess from guests is just a pantry away.

  1. If you already know you plan to spend a lot of time using your outdoor living space, why not make room in the budget for upgrades that will take your porch or lanai to the next level. 

Whether it’s a fully functional outdoor kitchen, an authentic pizza oven, or an outdoor movie theater, spend your money where you spend your time, and skip on the upgrades that don’t truly add value to the experience of living in your home. 

  1. Transform necessities into focal points. If a standard rectangular staircase is already part of your design plan, why not explore modifying the design for a curved, spiral, or otherwise statement stairway—think added built-in elements, or using unexpected materials or colors. 

Statement stairways or similar accent features will help personalize your home, and distinguish your personal style from every other new build on the block. 

Need some help navigating your budget or the design process? Let’s connect. Contact us today for resources on budgeting, hiring the right architect or contractor, and getting inspiration for your next project. 

Design Solutions 101: Foolproof Floor Plans

Whether you lived in one or just tried to navigate it while looking for a future home, everyone’s experienced a house with a  poorly organized floor plan. 

From needing to walk across a private bedroom in order to access a common area, to kitchens and dining areas on opposite ends of the home, a home with bad “flow” is a risky investment and a very expensive fix. 

Fortunately, this is an entirely avoidable problem. For this installment of our Design Solutions 101 series, we’re talking about common floor plan issues and how to avoid them in your future home.

Floor Plans for Beginners

Residential floor plans tend to adhere to a set of basic standards. Kitchen and dining areas are typically placed near one another for easy access, and the bedrooms are oriented away from common areas in order to maintain a sense of privacy. 

In locations with long periods of temperate weather (like Hawaii) common living areas indoors often open up onto an outdoor living area like a lanai or covered patio. 

While floorplans do change over time, i.e. the rise of the open concept trend and the decline of closed concept floor plans with walls or partitions separating each space, most homes are designed to maintain a sense of flow or continuity throughout the home. 

When designing or remodelling a home, consider whether or not your floor plan allows people to easily move between spaces, and if you could successfully manage your daily routines within the space. 

For example, is it easy to bring in groceries from the garage to the kitchen, or does it require a long walk? Is the outdoor living space easily accessible to everyone, or will you be requiring guests to go through your bedroom in order to reach the patio? Do you need to climb an extra flight of stairs to get to the guest bathroom?  All of these things are worth considering when designing a floor plan. 

Find your Floor Plan

While basic standards for floor plans exist for a reason, it’s still  important to create a layout that works for your lifestyle—both now and in the future. And while open-concept floor plans remain incredibly popular, a modified open or “broken” concept home might be best for your circumstances.

If you’re planning on staying in the home after you retire, or anticipate elderly relatives moving in with you in the future, building a single-story home is likely a good idea for your circumstances. Stairs can be a major hassle for aging in place, and accessibility should definitely be a priority. 

However this means you’ll need to find other ways to distinguish between common living areas and private spaces, which may involve a floorplan that separates the home into different “zones,” such as grouping bedrooms into one area and kitchen, living, and dining in another. 

On the other hand, if you’re building a home for a growing family, you’ll maybe need to add an extra bathroom to your floor plan or increase the size of your common living areas instead of adding in a home gym or other single-use space. 

Whatever your floor plan needs, finding the balance between the logic of established floor plans and making modifications based on your individual needs is the best way to ensure you’re not making major changes to your new space.

Don’t Try this Alone 

A well organized home with good flow is easy to live in, maintains its value, and is relatively easy to update, since future homeowners are unlikely to need to tear down a wall or move a room for the sake of better convenience.  

And finding that balance between tradition and personalization is a lot easier with the right professionals—especially an experienced interior designer who can work with your builder, contractor, and architect to create a floor plan that works now and in the future. 
We make finding the perfect team for your future home simple and convenient, and our free online estimator makes creating a realistic budget easier than ever. Contact us today to get started, and we’ll put you in touch with the right professionals to answer all your floor plan questions and concerns. 

What you need to know about building a home in 2021

Homebuilders in 2021 face a complex set of construction challenges: supply delays and skyrocketing materials prices, low property inventory, and the lingering effects of the worldwide pandemic. 

It’s enough to make anyone long for the days where the biggest challenge to home construction involved finding the right contractor—which is also more important, and harder to do, than ever before. 

While there’s no simple solution to the obstacles of building a home in 2021, a little preparation for what to expect can go a long way, and make the experience less stressful and even possibly less expensive. Here’s what you need to know if you’re determined to make 2021 the year of your dream home. 

Anticipate Delays

Residential construction was already a cycle of “hurry up and wait” but you can anticipate even longer wait times now. Why? Several reasons:

  • Many contractors and builders are still behind schedule on pre-existing projects derailed by the 2020 pandemic. Which means finding a reputable contractor with any upcoming availability is especially challenging. It’s worth keeping a short list of professionals you’re interested in working with and checking in regularly to see who can start your project fastest. 
  • Pandemic-related shipping delays. A return to normal consumer behavior means an increased demand for shipping services. But suppliers are struggling to meet this demand both due to reductions in labor and a reduction in available transportation—especially maritime transportation. For Hawaiians, this is nothing new. Shipping materials from the mainland was always an expensive and time-consuming endeavor, but the new delays mean that patience is especially crucial for beginner homebuilders. 

Plan for and Mitigate Increased Costs 

  • Shipping delays and shortages are also driving up the cost of most construction materials, most notably lumber. Reports from The National Association of Home Builders state that material shortages are more widespread than ever before, especially for materials such as lumber, plywood, and oriented strand board. This is causing the prices to skyrocket, and further increasing existing construction delays. 
  • Some builders and contractors are trying to mitigate rising construction prices with “price escalation” clauses in their building contracts, which means that cost of construction will remain based on the current price for building materials, regardless of how much the costs increase over the course of construction. 
  • Another option? Deliberately pausing construction when prices spike without risking the structural integrity of the home. Some builders are building in a planned wait time after the foundation is built, or after the major framing is completed. 

With all the complicating factors associated with building a home in 2021, it’s never been more important to work with the best and most experienced professionals in the industry. We help homebuilders find the right contractors, architects, designers, and builders for their new home, and our free online estimator can help you navigate the ever-changing economic landscape of residential construction. Contact us today for more information on making the most of these unique (but not impossible!) construction challenges.