Home Design Manufacturing & Distribution Challenges Due to Covid-19 The past year has shown a substantial shift in demand for suburban residences and an uptick in home renovation projects, resulting in homeowners reevaluating their home spaces in 2021. Through a virtual panel discussion organized by New England Home Connecticut Magazine, home design and real estate professionals were brought together to discuss the effects the pandemic has had on the industry along with the innovative trends for the future of home design. In this blog, we’ll hear from the following contributors and address the manufacturing and distribution challenges faced throughout the year. Moderator Tyra Dellacroce | Connecticut Stone Panelist Chris Barre | Smarthome & Theater Systems You’d be hard-pressed to find any industry across the globe that hasn’t been impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in a major way. One industry that has seen some major shifts and new trends as a result of COVID-19 is the home design industry, especially as people are spending more time inside than ever before. Chris Barre from Smarthome & Theatre Systems weighs in on the challenges in a virtual panel hosted by Tyra Dellacroce from Connecticut Stone. Within the home design industry, many manufacturers and distributors have been directly impacted by the pandemic. Disruptions to the supply chain — especially in home technology home theater systems — have short- and long-term effects on businesses and homeowners alike. What exact trends are we seeing, and when can we expect things to improve? We got some insight during a recent virtual panel discussion with home design, renovation, and building professionals in the Connecticut market from Chris Barre from Smarthome & Theatre Systems. Short-Term Effects Chris discussed that, “The most immediate short-term effects seen in the home technology (and particularly, the home theater) sectors have been related to restricted access to supplies like audio/visual receivers. This is mostly because much of this equipment’s manufacturing occurs in China and Singapore, which have been hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic.” Currently, manufacturers of this equipment are not sure when they will resume production or ship out new products. Meanwhile, suppliers are running low on inventory suitable for residential applications, leaving many homeowners with a difficult choice of either upgrading their equipment to something commercial/higher-end (and more expensive), or waiting longer for their projects to be completed. Chris explained how, “Designers usually have a 2-4 week lead time for these kinds of projects — but lead times have been closer to 4-8 weeks since the onset of the pandemic.” What About the Long Term? Chris also talked about how, “If there is any silver lining to all of this, it’s that these supply issues are expected to be a relatively short-lived problem. It is believed that the electronics industry will catch up with its production and that the supply of these electronic products will be ample once again in the near future.” This is especially true as more distribution and manufacturing centers are beginning to reopen, even though they may have tough restrictions in place to keep workers safe and socially distanced. Likewise, there will probably be a shift in home theater design and technology, reflecting these changing times. As smart functionality becomes more commonplace and it’s easier to get almost all your entertainment from an app on your smart TV, it is expected that TV and home theater systems will become more simplistic — with homeowners needing to buy fewer components to get the sound and picture quality they need. In the meantime, Chris said, “The need for a strong and reliable in-home WiFi connection becomes more important than ever. Not just for streaming and entertainment purposes, but as more people rely on their home internet connections to productively work and do school from home.” The Bottom Line This is just one example of how this particular industry has been affected (and will likely continue to be affected) by the global Coronavirus pandemic. Only time will tell what other industries will be impacted and how far-reaching those effects will be. However, it is anticipated that the home design and home technology industries will see some of the most significant impacts as people worldwide begin to redefine their own ideas of what it means to be happy at home. Need help redesigning your interior space to be happier at home? Reach out to the Connecticut Stone team today to get started.