Pandemic means big business for home improvement companies
LONDON, ONT. -- While the pandemic has put a damper on many types of businesses, those in the home improvement industry are red hot.
“At this point we’re booked into July,” explained Isaac Mosley, who is part of a small home renovation and construction company called J & M Reno Builders in the Middlesex-London area.
On this day he could be found working on a stamped concrete pad for a backyard gazebo. He said the company has been going non-stop, seven days a week in trying to keep up with demand from homeowners looking to improve their places of dwelling.
“I leave my house around 5:30, six o’clock in the morning and get home around the same time. Sometimes later.”
Middlesex Centre homeowner Stephanie Zarkovich said she and her family have no plans to go anywhere any time soon, so they decided it was a good time to go all out on their backyard.
“We had a few trips that were cancelled over the last year, so we thought ‘let’s make our backyard into a mini oasis for the summer because everything is super uncertain right now. So we just want to have a place to relax and kind of get away from it all.”
A lawn mower being pushed by one of the crew of Great Canadian Landscape in London, Ont. on May 11, 2021. (Bryan Bicknell/CTV London)
Landscaping companies are also in high demand, not just for mowing lawns and planting flowers, but just about anything that helps homeowners beautify their outdoor surroundings.
“This year it’s like the phones don’t stop ringing, the emails don’t stop coming in, the requests don’t stop,” said Mike Saunders of Great Canadian Landscape. “We’ve been inundated with work. And people are looking for anything from lawn maintenance, to patios, to pergolas, and decks and fences, and everybody wants everything done.”
He said the company has had to expand and hire a larger crew to keep up with customer needs this year.
And while business is booming because of the pandemic, it’s for that very reason home improvement supplies are harder to come by.
“Even to get a wheelbarrow...is like a nightmare,” said Great Canadian Landscape owner Dan Saunders (Mike’s brother). He explained that it takes as much as an hour to wait in line at a store, after spending time online waiting for an order to be processed.
It looks like business is not about to slow down any time soon, at least not this year. According to a survey by Homestars, an online consumer review company, nearly three quarters of Canadian homeowners plan home improvements in 2021.