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Summer Sale | Take 15% Off ALL House Plans | Code: SUMMER15
Summer Sale | Take 15% Off ALL House Plans | Code: SUMMER15

Building a Home in 2021

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers

There isn’t an industry that’s been unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some boomed while others plummeted, and even after things started getting back on track, systems strained by shutdowns and ongoing outbreaks around the globe continue to complicate building in the United States. But don't worry—you can navigate this unique situation all the way to your dream home! If you’re planning to build or running into problems partway through the process, here’s what you should know about building this year.

Photo by Blue Bird from Pexels

If you want to build a home, you’re not alone. There is unprecedented demand for single family homes—both new and existing—right now. But the buying market is brutal, and we’ve seen tons of interest in building instead.

What’s Happening

In spring of 2020, many manufacturing facilities around the world shut down to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Others deemed essential continued to produce as able under stringent health guidelines. As you could expect, certain items fell out of stock, and demand outstripped supply with a red-hot housing market driven by urban flight during the pandemic.

Additionally, American industry was dealt another blow in February of 2021 with the deep freeze of the South. Texas, a major source for petroleum and other chemical materials, was knocked out of commission for over two weeks—the effects of which can still be seen months later. Companies still have trouble getting everything from foam insulation for refrigerators to glue for cabinetry.

People are heading back to work—so why are things still slow? First, it takes time to catch up from a year of delays. There are also two main ongoing issues: pandemic shutdowns around the world and transportation both nationally and internationally. Whether you’re talking components or full products, we are reliant on manufacturing in other countries; an outbreak that shuts down facilities on the other side of the planet will eventually cause shortages elsewhere. Getting things across oceans is also more difficult and expensive than it used to be—transportation is actually a bigger obstacle than availability in many cases, because there aren’t enough shipping containers to move the goods that have been produced since reopening. The same issue can be seen domestically to a lesser extent, particularly when it comes to framing lumber, so it’s often difficult to find and more expensive than it was pre-pandemic. Builders across the country are ready for building season, but they’re spending tons of time sourcing materials rather than putting them together into new houses.

House Plan 1063

No lumber? No problem! House Plan 1063 is designed for bolt-up steel framing, which can raise a house in a matter of days. Be sure to look for metal framing manufacturers in your area if you’d like to explore this option.

What You Can Do

Building a new home is a big undertaking, but aspiring homeowners keep going this route because there's nothing like moving into a brand new home tailored to your exact wants, needs, and tastes—which is nigh impossible to find when shopping existing homes. Remember, we’re always ready to help make your dream home into a reality, so reach out if you need help finding the perfect house plan or have any questions about building.

Here’s what you can do right now to prepare for your future home!

Get Organized

Don’t wait to plan until things start taking off—that’s a good way to get left behind. Once you have your budget and design preferences in order, you won’t waste precious building time figuring out what you want to do. So, if you already have a lot, get your blueprints! Find a house plan that fits the parameters of your land and use it to make a list of what you need—how much flooring, how many fixtures, etc. That way, you can set limits on each item to use your budget more efficiently well before you start spending. The House Designers provides a free Home Building Organizer to all house plan purchasers—it comes full of budgeting worksheets to help simplify this process! With this information in hand, you can make product choices faster and won’t miss out on placing your order when things are in stock due to indecision.

Haven’t bought a lot or a house plan yet? You can still make a list of products based on what you’re looking for in a home, like the square footage, number of bathrooms, etc. If you happen to find a great deal on something you know you’ll need, and you can store it until you build, go ahead and buy. You might want to invest in a storage unit for this—just make sure you keep stock of what you have and what you’ve spent!

Plan for Delays

Flexibility is the name of the game! With global supply chain disruptions, lead times have gone from weeks to months for many products. Don’t be surprised if your builder suggests pouring the foundation and then pausing the project—many are doing this when framing lumber is hard to come by—because they don’t want finishes delivered before the house is enclosed. Here’s where a storage unit can help again, but many companies and distributors are understanding and willing to reschedule shipments if you aren’t ready for them yet.

Consider Renovating

Yes—we said it! Assuming you’re the owner, improving the home you’re in will pay dividends down the road. The home improvement sector has taken off as people tap into equity to tackle projects that increase the value of their homes. Home prices shot up during the pandemic due to low inventory, which started even before COVID-19 hit and has continued despite sales at record levels. That means your existing home could be worth more than you think, and you can net some extra cash at resale to put toward your dream home. Make it especially attractive to buyers and you’ll likely have your choice of bids!

Thank you for continuing to subscribe to and support The House Designers! We are so grateful for the business over the last year, and we are excited to see the homes that our customers have built using our house plans. If you’d like to share your experience, consider joining our documentary program—we offer $500 compensation for a post-construction shoot and interview. Send a few interior and exterior photos of your home to to be considered!


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