Home improvement booms as pandemic drags on

Over the course of the past year, many industries have fought to continue operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. But not for some skilled workers.

More Americans are spending more time at home than ever before and now they're sprucing up their homes at a remarkable rate.

Simply put, the remodeling business is booming.

"It's literally been non-stop," said Monica Jackson of Jackson Staging and Design. "We are already booked into mid-spring."

It's one of the few industries that has actually been helped by the pandemic.
"I have clients that literally wanted a little tiny piece of carpet to a total remodel," said Jackson.

Since last March, she said they've done 80 jobs. As U.S. existing home sales climb to the highest level in 14 years, there's an even bigger demand for remodeling.

"I think through all of this people are really focusing on what is most important: their family, their time with family, and where they want to channel their resources," Jackson said.

Dawn Crandall is a lobbyist for the Homebuilders Association of Michigan, which represents 5,000 builders, remodelers, and contractors.
"Our builders are very busy right now," she said. "They're doing better than 2019. Some up to the tune of 30 to 40 percent."

Primarily, customers want to enhance their remote work and learning experience.

"You’re seeing all your walls and you decide you want to change things because you’re spending so much time at home," Crandall said.

But it's not all easy. Problems with the supply chain have led to availability issues on everything from lumber to appliances - plus finding people to do all the hard work.

"Going into COVID-19 we had a workforce shortage, to begin with and coming out of COVID-19 we are still dealing with a shortage of workforce and labor," Crandall said.

Experts project that the home improvement boom will continue throughout the year.