Homeowners Beware!! Managing Renovation Aspiration Syndrome (RAS)

Since the start of 2020, homeowners lucky enough to have weathered the financial storm brought on by Covid-19 have found themselves with more money in their pockets than they ever could have imagined. This, by and large, is directly related to restrictions placed on us because of the pandemic. The fact that we can no longer travel, dine out in restaurants or go to sporting events, concerts, and movies, has left many homeowners living in pandemic prisons, gazing at their stark surroundings, and dreaming of new ways to enjoy life. Those with the financial means have found that they are now at risk of contracting Renovation Aspiration Syndrome (RAS), which, has been known to cause chaos if not managed properly.

Benefits of RAS

  • Homeowners have more time on their hands to explore and engage in home improvement projects
    • Many suppliers offer free estimates, online purchasing and material delivery options
    • Contractors are deemed an essential service and are able to see projects through to completion

Challenges of RAS

  • Materials costs are unstable and rapidly increasing.
    • Materials availability is unpredictable and rapidly decreasing

These challenges can put contracts in jeopardy, leading to increased costs or a shortage of materials required for project completion. It also puts pressure on contractors to find those materials at a reasonable price when all of a sudden, the supply is depleted, and costs have skyrocketed.

Managing RAS

  • Hire a reputable contractor who knows what they are doing (cost, schedule, etc.)

o   Renovations are projects that have many moving parts. Reputable contractors know what to look for when visiting sites and can provide more accurate quotations and a realistic schedule, mitigating unexpected surprises after the project starts.

o   A contractor who can properly assess material requirements allows materials to be purchased up-front, avoiding supply shortages later on.

  • Consider purchasing and storing your materials up-front either directly or through your preferred contractor. Once you own the materials, project cost increases are less likely to occur.
    • Prioritize renovations (using the 80/20 rule) assuming that 20% of your renovations will provide you with 80% of your enjoyment. Choose to start with projects that will fulfill enjoyment early on because one day the pandemic will end, supply and demand will normalize, and you may choose to go back to a world of investing in travel and entertainment.
    • Give good online reviews to contractors who do a good job. If you take prioritization seriously, your projects may be smaller, leaving your contractor with less work for each job. Helping them build up their reputation is a great way to pay it forward for the effort they’ve given you. .

Is RAS here to stay?

Nobody knows for sure if RAS is here to stay or when it will subside. Whether you are considering building a new deck, upgrading your kitchen, or finally developing your basement into that new Mother-in-Law suite you’ve been avoiding, renovations need to be planned if they are going to be successful. Prioritize your projects to get the most enjoyment out of your renovations and consider hiring a contractor who you trust such as Tara Construction.

At Tara Construction we always recommend you get three quotes and it’s best to find companies from reputable sources such as a friend or checking company reviews.  Also, ask for references and keep in mind the cheapest quote is not always the best option. Although it may save you money at first it could cost you more pain and money later on if you end up hiring someone that doesn’t know what they are doing or doesn’t know how to price the job which means you are either paying a lot of money out in repairs or you could be left with an unfinished project.  

If you would like to get a free quote from Tara Construction please give us a call at (403) 991-2813 and please go check out our reviews on Homestars and Google.