As we seemingly make progress in the fight against COVID 19, I believe that we will be looking at some longer and as yet unknown impact the pandemic is going to have on global economies including but not limited to the supply of goods and services.  Everyone I speak with these days including courier companies admit that availability of things is a moving target.  Deliveries that are normally a couple of days could take weeks if not months, they just don’t know.
 
When I am not working in real estate I am working on my own properties and this year’s project is adding a 16′ x 20′ year round sunroom with fireplace to the back of our house in Clarksburg similar to this photo.  With ongoing travel restrictions and people staying closer to home these days, many people are taking on some type of home improvement project and that is putting a loot of pressure on tradespeople and the supply of building materials.
Acting as my own general contractor and knowing some of the current challenges I have been lining up the required trades and materials in order to keep the project moving once we start.  One of the current material shortages out there one seldom thinks of especially with a home improvement project is computer chips.  I was aware that the shortage of chips was impacting the auto and some other industries and read an article where Ford was still cranking out F-150 trucks with some of the needed parts to be later installed by their dealers.
After a lot of research we decided on purchasing a gas fireplace for the sunroom made by Enviro, a company based in Victoria BC.  Yesterday I spoke with their local dealer and was advised that the shortage of computer chips was potentially going to impact fireplace deliveries for months.  You might be thinking or asking yourself what do computer chips have to do with a gas fireplace?  Many of today’s better gas fireplaces including the one we selected have electronic ignitions meaning that the fire will light even in a power shortage.  In addition, some models such as the one we selected have remotes that allow you to turn the fireplace on, off, adjust the flame and heat output etc.  All of these features takes some form of technology in the form of circuitry and that’s where computer chips come in
Fortunately our dealer had the insight to purchase some units for inventory and we paid a deposit for
them to hold one unit until we are ready for the installation.   In speaking with them today, they said once their current inventory is gone it could be many months before others are manufactured and available.
When it comes to home improvement projects or for that matter anything, it’s always good to plan and purchase ahead if you can especially now as with the world still recovering from the pandemic there is no doubt a lot we are not aware of and or prepared for.  Getting back to some for of normalcy may well be a year or more away so take nothing for granted.  Right now I have a garage full to composite decking which I ordered early.  I’ve also got some cedar lumber for the sunroom’s ceiling that I purchased from a mill on Manitoulin Island and I’ll be picking up more from them next week.  A dozen windows will be arriving shortly for me to pick up from a dealer in Barrie which took 12 weeks to get.
Nothing happens overnight these days and it may be some time before things improve so to avoid disappointment and construction delays for any project you may be undertaking this year plan accordingly and leave yourself lot’s of time.