Contact 2: Pandemic causing home improvement boom, slower project completions

ST. CHARLES, Mo. – Whether you’re looking to better your current home or build a new one, you’ll find plenty of options and ideas this weekend at the Builders Home & Remodeling Show at the St.Charles Convention Center. The COVID pandemic has crushed many industries, but the home improvement business is surging.

“What we really saw take off during the COVID crisis was interior kitchen remodeling and, on the outside, we saw a lot of people putting decks on their home, increasing their outdoor living,” said Sean Melson, Midtown Home Improvements.

The building boom has driven an increase in lumber prices and put a premium on patience.

“I would say if somebody can get to the project tomorrow, they’re probably not who you want to go with,” Melson said. “Anybody that’s doing a good job of marketing and selling their products are going to be a little further out. It’s going to be more days outstanding than usual. Simply because there is a lot more demand.”

Mike Lahay, who owns Spas and More!, says his business is bubbling.

“Supply and demand has really become a challenge,” he saide. “At first it was great, then the manufacturers found out real quick that the demand was something they’d never seen before.”

Plant closures and parts shortages created a backlog. Lahay says he brought 32 new spas to the show this weekend and anticipates he’ll only have one or two left by Saturday afternoon.

“I would say come down and take a look. See what we’ve got. If we don’t have it on the floor, we do have a backlog stock list of tubs that we will be getting in the next 30, 60, 90, 120 days that we know of. If that doesn’t fit your bill, we can always get something ordered for you,” Lahay said.

Show hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission and parking are free.

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