- Trump’s tariffs are poised to raise prices on a range of supplies and products.
- One sector impacted by the trade war is home improvement.
- Plan your renovations accordingly based on the affected materials.
Homeowners thinking about renovating a kitchen or bathroom, finishing a basement, or adding a garage might want to think about how the ongoing trade war will affect their costs. Trump’s trade tariffs will drive up the cost of some home renovations, so you might need to speed up your plans to finish a remodel before the supply chain impact hits you directly. On the other hand, some costs are already up, so it might be worth postponing your renovation until prices stabilize.
Here are the projects to wait on and the home renovations to do now.
Click to find out how Trump’s trade war with China is hitting you hardest.
Do These Home Renovations This Year Before Tariffs Go Up
If you’ve got a new kitchen or bathroom in mind, don’t wait. The new tariffs aimed at Chinese imports will raise the prices for tile used in bathrooms and kitchen backsplashes, cabinets, wallboards and floorboards, light fixtures, and heating and cooling equipment. The first round of tariffs will increase the cost of these items by 10 percent, but another set of tariffs are set to increase prices by 25 percent at the end of the year.
Kitchen countertops face a double whammy, with the U.S. imposing import duties on quartz, which an investigation found was being illegally “dumped” into the U.S. by Chinese exporters, capitalizing on subsidies from the Chinese government. Quartz prices are already rising and will likely continue to do so.
Move quickly if you want to:
- Renovate a kitchen
- Add or renovate a bathroom
- Convert a basement or mudroom into a laundry room
Save Money: 30 Home Upgrades That Won’t Blow Your Budget
Skip These Remodeling Jobs Until Costs Go Down
If your remodeling project includes adding a room or garage, you might want to delay plans. Some of the first tariffs President Trump imposed were on Canadian lumber, charging that Canadian companies were being unfairly subsidized by their government. Canadian lumber prices have also risen in response to a supply decline due to tree disease and slower transportation.
Wait for lumber prices to stabilize before you:
- Build a new home
- Add a room
- Add a garage
- Convert a basement into an in-law unit
Paying for Home Renovations
If you need to take out a home equity line of credit to fund your renovations, keep in mind that HELOC interest is still deductible if the money is used to “buy, build or substantially improve the taxpayer’s home that secures the loan,” according to the IRS. You can only deduct the interest on $750,000 worth of residence loans — that is, first mortgages and home equity loans or lines of credit — if you are married filing jointly, or $375,000 if you are filing separately or single.
Click to read more about what’s better, a HELOC or a home equity loan.
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