October 18, 2021

Home projects continue apace

Trend shows those stuck inside during virus turn to remodeling

Todd R. McAdam/managing editor

Michele Dintino, left, with Builder’s Best Doit Center on Luker Road in Cortlandville, shows samples Monday to Shuryl Menapace, who plans to remodel her kitchen, part of a trend remodelers link to the coronavirus pandemic and people stuck at home.

Shuryl Menapace, a real estate agent, has seen many kitchens in her career, but hasn’t done anything to improve the tight space in her own kitchen — until now.

Monday morning, she sat down with Michele Dintino, kitchen and bath specialist for Builder’s Best Do It Center to look over samples and redesign her kitchen.

She’s excited to get the work started, with plans to take down a wall and add a window to get more space and light in her kitchen.

“It will be very open and bright,” she said. “I’m excited.”

Trever Norman, the general manager of Builders Best Doit Center on Luker Road in Cortlandville, said the store started seeing an increase of people coming in to get supplies for various home projects in May. Foot traffic has been pretty consistent since then.

“With a lot of things we’re hearing, this seems to be the trend,” he said.

“Temporary closure of restaurants and cafes together with tighter pockets compelled people to return to the cook-at-home habits,” the stock exchange NASDAQ reported Dec. 29. “Moving on, increased time spent indoors caused a number of individuals to focus on revamping homes to align them with work-from-home and remote schooling needs, simultaneously making it a comfortable and enjoyable space.”

“Bank of America data also shows that 70% of respondents dedicated themselves to renovation projects in lockdown,” Forbes reported Friday.

At Builders Best, Saturday was particularly busy, Dintino said as she tidied her desk and prepared for her next client Monday morning.

“It was crazy from 9:30 to 1 o’clock,” Dintino said, with multiple customers at the same time.

People working from home are tired of looking at the same four walls, and those little flaws that didn’t mean much a year ago are irritating them into doing something. “They’re there and everything has bothered them just sticks out,” Dintino said. “They’re over it.”

Menapace said with her husband retired now and with them staying home more because of the coronavirus pandemic, they need a nice kitchen to cook their meals.

“It keeps us busy and it keeps us from being around other people,” she said.

She also hopes it becomes a gathering spot for her family once the pandemic is over.

But Norman said what people are working on has changed throughout the course of the last several months.

“During the summer, we saw a lot of people build decks onto their homes,” he said.

Now, they’re seeing a lot more people come in to look at kitchen and bathroom remodel supplies. More people seek materials for home offices, too.

Jason Hage, an associate broker with Hage Real Estate, said upgraded kitchens and bathrooms have always been something people look for when they buy a home, but now people are also looking for home offices.

“A lot of these upgrades are for quality of life,” he said.