HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) – The pandemic is not over, nor is the surge in home improvements or the equipment and labor shortages businesses still face.
8News spoke to several home improvement experts on Sunday at the Richmond Home Show at the Richmond Raceway. They said they are still seeing an increase in the number of customers despite people leaving their homes or returning to work for the first time in over a year.
Wes Gauvin with Herman W. Allen Heating and Cooling, who presented at the home show on Sunday, said business was explosive, with a 33% increase in customer numbers.
“We have seen an increase in business. Lots of people work from home, look around and fix things that they maybe put off a little bit ahead of time, you know, because they’re dealing with it all day. We’ve seen a lot of people turn garages and third-floor spaces into home offices. We added air conditioning and a lot of fractional products to these locations, ”said Gauvin.
A statement sent by the Richmond Home Show said the US housing market was “on fire”, referring to Forbes magazine which named the Richmond subway one of its “best housing markets to watch in 2021”.
Gauvin said his company typically doesn’t install plumbing or HVAC systems in new homes, but helps with many new commercial constructions. He said the market is still very strong.
He also said that repairs, replacements, renovations, renovations and service additions all “go through the roof” when it comes to business.
“At the moment, it looks like the economy is strong and I hope it stays that way, although it looks like there are a few tough factors ahead of us,” he said.
A recent study from Porch.com shows that 76% of US homeowners have embarked on at least one home improvement project since the start of the pandemic.
Rachel Milligan, owner of Milligan Custom Cabinetry, based in Drakes Branch, Va., Said they had to get creative in order to cope with the supply chain shortage. She said they had to give customers different options when they encountered long delays with some cabinets.
Exterior Source owner Kristian Lindberg said the company is still grappling with the ripple effect of supply chain shortages with delays on windows of around a month. Previously, Lindberg had said delays on windows reached nine to ten weeks.
He said that, like others, he believed the vaccine rollout would help solve the problems caused by the pandemic, but the good news is he said his company saw a 20% increase in the number of clients.
“I thought it was over, yeah. I did. But, you know, a lot of big companies still don’t bring their employees back to the office, so people still work from home, they still see those little things that have been bothering them for years like their gutters or their roofs, so that’s just a matter of gender, alright, let’s go. And so, the work is always there for us, ”he said.
At the start of the pandemic, Lindberg said he was “really concerned” and “just didn’t know what was going to happen” to his business.
Now he said things were getting back to where it was getting “a lot” better, but they are working on a backlog of materials after receiving them all at once.