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

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Mike Zimmer, The Fixer, now faces his biggest home improvement project yet

He billed himself as a “Fixer” when he was hired. Mike Zimmer came with that reputation, a football coach skilled at fixing problem areas, especially on defense.

The Fixer has tackled big projects at different times in his seven seasons in Minnesota, some of his own doing, some not. Teddy Bridgewater’s knee injury, a revolving door at quarterback, offensive coordinators coming and going. He’s managed to keep the Vikings relevant as a playoff contender through turbulence.

This project feels different. He has a whopper of a mess on his hands — and once again some of it is his own doing, some of it not. His to-do list is extensive:

Repair the offensive line after years of neglect by the front office.

Shore up the depleted defensive line.

Help Kirk Cousins regroup and find his way after a poor start.

Develop a cast of inexperienced cornerbacks.

Establish more options at

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Lower than expected bid on new elementary school leads to additional school improvements project | St. Francisville

ST. FRANCISVILLE — The West Feliciana Parish School Board approved a contract with the low bidder for building the new Bains Elementary School on Sept. 15 and agreed to sell another $22.6 million in bonds for the construction and other ongoing work.

Last month, Milton J. Womack Inc. submitted the low bid of $23,907,201 to build the new school on 15 acres of land adjacent to West Feliciana Middle School at Bains.

Ten firms submitted bids for the work, which is being financed with proceeds from a $52.6 million bond issue that voters approved in May 2019.

Because the base bid for the building construction, $23.34 million, was below the budgeted figure, the board also was able to accept the Womack firm’s $103,401 bid to install additional canopies on bus and carpool drop-off lanes and $463,800 for enhanced playground equipment.

The entrance the school will be on Marydale Road.


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Should you take out a personal loan for a home improvement project?

Tackling a home improvement project can be costly but, with competitive rates and terms, a personal loan can give you a house to come home to. (iStock)

Home improvement projects can make a house a home. By updating a bathroom or kitchen, replacing windows, or changing the flooring in the living room, you are putting your signature touch on your home and adding value.

But these improvements can also come with a high price tag, making it difficult for the average person to pay cash for upgrades to their homes. There are many reasons to take out a personal loan, but this is one of the most popular — and can really come in handy.

What is a personal loan?

A personal loan is financed by a financial institution — a bank, credit union, or online lender and can be used for renovations, repairs, and additions to your

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A home improvement project you’ll use every day! Maximize the storage space in your kitchen or bathroom

Alan Regala, ShelfGenie of Seattle, shows us how to create a more functional home, without a complete remodel. Sponsored by ShelfGenie.

SEATTLE — ShelfGenie of Seattle’s custom-designed storage solutions can add more space, organization, and accessibility to your existing cabinets.  

In this interview, Alan Regala, ShelfGenie Director of Client Happiness, explains how revamping your cabinets with custom Glide-Out shelves can help you better utilize your space and keep clutter to a minimum.

SPECIAL OFFER: The first 15 New Day callers will get a free professional design consultation and free installation. Call 888-848-1372 to schedule an appointment or visit to learn more.

About ShelfGenie: “ShelfGenie custom Glide-Out shelves are the best way to eliminate common frustrations in the kitchen, pantry, and bath. Our custom-designed storage solutions add more space, more organization, and more accessibility to your existing cabinets. 

We pride ourselves on having the best quality Glide-Out shelves available to

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Portion Of Big Creek Greenway Closed For Renovation Project

CUMMING, GA — The section of the Big Creek Greenway multi-use trail from McFarland Pkwy. (mile marker 1.5) to Union Hill Road (mile marker 3.6) is closed immediately due to recent damages and flooding as a result of Tropical Depression Sally, including downed trees and damaged portions of the boardwalk. In addition, renovations to this section will begin soon. The renovation project is anticipated to be completed in 2021.

This project will include the replacement of existing wooden boardwalk sections and raising the profile in some areas of the trail. Walkers, runners and bikers will continue to have access to approximately nine miles of the Greenway trail during the closure. Also, the four trailheads located at Halcyon (6265 Cortland Walk), Union Hill Road (5259 Union Hill Road), Fowler Park (4110 Carolene Way) and Bethelview Road (5120 Bethelview Road) will remain open.

“The section that is being renovated is part of

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Oregon State’s Reser Stadium remodeling project now carries a $140 million price tag, down from $175 million

The cost to remodel the aging west side of Oregon State’s Reser Stadium has fallen substantially during the past year.

Oregon State athletic director Scott Barnes said earlier this week that the price tag to remodel Reser Stadium is now $140 million. That’s down 20 percent from a projected cost of $175 million at the outset of the project.

Barnes said the project cost is a moving target, and the initial cost of $175 million was conservative estimate. But in the university’s request for proposal document released Oct. 15, 2019, it states the project cost as approximately $175 million, with a direct construction budget of approximately $122 million.

What changed?

Some of it is fine-tuning the project, Barnes said. A more accurate design and better knowing the scope and scale led to a more informed number for remodeling Reser.

The pandemic, oddly, has helped too. It led to market conditions

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Chick-fil-A in Mechanicsburg reopens after remodeling project

Chick-fil-A Mechanicsburg

The Chick-fil-A located at 6416 Carlisle Pike in Mechanicsburg has reopened after a remodel.Megan Lavey-Heaton | PennLive

Six weeks after the Mechanicsburg Chick-fil-A temporarily closed for remodeling, the restaurant has reopened for business.

The Chick-fil-A located at 6416 Carlisle Pike in Mechanicsburg closed on July 31 for a remodeling project. At the time, the restaurant only said the closing would be temporarily.

On Monday night, it announced on Facebook that the location would be reopening on Tuesday morning. As of now, the restaurant is offering drive-thru and curbside pickup. The post didn’t mention when the dining room would reopen.

The Mechanicsburg Chick-fil-A will be open from 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday-Saturday.


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Department of Transportation awards $25 million to Polk County for Broadway Avenue Improvements project

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The Iowa Department of Transportation plans a record-busting $806 million in statewide road and bridge projects this construction season. (Photo: William Petroski/The Register)

Polk County’s plan to reconstruct a portion of Broadway Avenue just got a $25 million boost from the federal government. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation on Wednesday announced the grant, earmarked for the Broadway Avenue Multi-modal Improvements project, as part of a $1 billion investment from the Trump administration to improve infrastructure through its Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development program.

The BUILD grant will cover over half of the projected $40 million cost of the Broadway project.

“A federal grant like that … relieves the burden on the local governments to help pay for that,” said MPO executive director Todd Ashby. “It certainly helps speed the timeline of completing the project.”

According to local officials, the project, which focuses on a 5.2-mile stretch

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