Pandemic leads to uptick in home improvement projects | Local News

Painting cabinets, updating window trims or maybe new flooring? The COVID-19-induced shelter-at-home orders and the continuing social distancing has fueled the need for home improvements.

According to a recent poll conducted by Bank of America, people are investing time, money and effort in improving their homes.

The bank asked 1,054 Americans about their attitudes and shopping habits during the pandemic. The results showed that more than 70% decided to tackle home improvement projects, with more planned for 2021.

The trend to do-it-yourself projects resulted in rising stocks of home improvement stores such as Lowe’s, Home Depot Inc. and Tractor Supply.

According to statistics from the Bank of America, between 75% to 80% of Lowe’s customer base are do-it-yourself shoppers. As a result, the brand’s shares skyrocketing 56%.

About 55% of Home Depot’s customer base is with the DIY community, which helped increase shares 34% over the past three months.

Tractor Supply stock has soared 69% over the same timeframe.

While some feel confident of finishing home improvement projects on their own, others prefer to hire a professional. But these days, it can take a while to find a handyman with immediate availability.

“I’m pretty busy,” said Harker Heights resident Ricky Mengel, owner of the independent contracting company Handyman for Veterans.

Mengel’s schedule is already booked until August, but his phone keeps ringing.

“I think it’s because everybody is at the house, looking at the stuff that they have been wanting to do,” he said. “And now they think ‘hey, let’s get it done’.”

Mengel, who is licensed to make outdoor as well as indoor home improvements within Bell County, noticed the uptick in business shortly after the stay-at-home order was lifted.

“I believe the stimulus helped a lot,” he said. “A lot of people have put it off because they work and now they are sitting at home, looking at it. They don’t want to look at it anymore, so they are getting it repaired.”

Although people are slowly reporting back to work, the rising number of infections and the fear of a second wave keeps many on their properties. Restricted travel also keeps people closer to home.