Home remodelers find there is plenty of work now that pandemic restrictions have been eased

Light poured through the empty windows and lit up the exposed wooden beams inside. The home on the lakefront property in Fort Gratiot, Michigan was being remodeled. Almost the entire thing had been gutted and was being prepped for new drywall. Among the new amenities will be a shower with hookups for body jets on the walls in the master bathroom.

The project is just one of many that home remodeling builders are working on since restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic were lifted in May.

 COVID-19 and the associated stay-at-home order had paused all services deemed non-essential, putting a stop to construction projects big and small across Pennsylvania. Now, the projects are back on.

Adaptation across the industry

The original stay-at-home order prohibited construction work except for those related to the safety, sanitation, and basic operations of a home. This left remodelers with some work to do, but there’s not that many emergency calls out there.

“Most of their activity had to come to a standstill,” he said.

During this time, remodelers were able to do some back-end work like ordering materials, speaking with clients, and developing safety plans. But since restrictions relaxed, contractors have had plenty to do.

“You’ve got clients who’ve been living in the house with maybe a partially remodeled bathroom or kitchen.” “You know they’re eager to get that project done.”

Industry exports expect remodeling businesses will operate under some kind of directive from the state until the pandemic is declared over, whether that comes through executive orders, laws passed through the Legislature or revised OSHA regulations. Jobs will likely take a bit longer due to social distancing requirements, which Stoskopf said is likely the most lasting impact.

Tips For Choosing A Qualified Home Remodeling Contractor

Outside of the home itself, remodeling is typically one of the largest investments you can make as a homeowner. While some projects can be tempting to tackle yourself, many larger-scale projects may require hiring a qualified professional.

Because remodeling your home is a big undertaking, it’s important to take steps to ensure the professional you hire to perform the work is qualified to complete it to the highest standards of quality and integrity.

Consider these tips from the experts at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry to help you make an informed decision when hiring a remodeling contractor.

Get Recommendations
One of the best ways to find qualified, professional help is through word-of-mouth referrals. Ask your relatives, friends, neighbors or co-workers – particularly if they’ve recently renovated their own homes – if they have any previous experience with companies they would recommend. Also consider searching online for reviews of companies in your area.

Stay Local
It’s often best to consider established local remodeling companies first, as they are typically more compelled to perform high-quality work, which allows their businesses to thrive and remain in the community. Local professionals are also likely to know permit requirements and building codes in your city or county, which can change from year to year.

Follow Your Design Aesthetic
Whether your home features a mid-century modern, contemporary, or farmhouse design style, it’s critical to choose a remodeler who is knowledgeable in the construction and design of the style of your home. Additionally, a company that specializes in remodeling kitchens may not be suited for a bathroom or bedroom project.

Ask for Licenses and Insurance
Many states, but not all, require contractors to be licensed, bonded, and insured. Ask for copies of licenses and insurance certificates for any remodelers you’re considering to make sure they’re current. Most states also require contractors to carry worker’s compensation, property damage, and personal liability insurance for their crews. Contact your state or local licensing agencies to ensure the contractor meets the minimum requirements.

Check References
Once you’ve narrowed your list of potential contractors, ask for a list of references you can contact and a portfolio of work. A typical reference list includes 10 or more jobs with dates as well as the customer’s name, address, and phone number, and a portfolio should also contain at least 10 projects with photos of the space before work began, during the project and after completion. If possible, also consider visiting a current job site to see first-hand how the contractor operates.

Search for Violations or Complaints
Because you can’t always rely on a portfolio or references, it’s important to also check with your local consumer affairs office or the Better Business Bureau to ensure there are no complaints on record for the contractors you’re considering, which may help further narrow your list.

Compare Apples to Apples
While a number of different factors go into every remodeling project, be sure all contractors you solicit bids from are using the same scope and quality of work requirements. Discuss any significant variations in price or timelines and be wary of any substantially lower estimates.

Trends That Will Define Home Trends in 2020

Every decade brings forth a new change. 2020 is no different. Want to get a headstart on your design inspiration? Here’s a piece of good news if you plan to start remodeling your home. These will define home trends in 2020.

Non-White Kitchens

One of the biggest trends to come out of 2020 is the emergence of non-white kitchens. Two-tone kitchens, as well as colored cabinets, have seen a rise in popularity. All-white kitchens had dominated the market for a while, but with this new decade, we’re seeing a pattern of diminishing in its use.

Sit-In Bathrooms

For the modern homeowner, bathrooms are not just about utility anymore. More and more homeowners are converting their bathrooms into a sanctuary. While you may not need a full-blown spa, a sitting arrangement or two can do the job, as well.

Floating Vanities

Out with the old, in with the new. This seems to be the mantra for 2020 trends. Floating vanities are practical, save space, and give your bathroom a more contemporary look.

The popularity of the floating vanities is also due to the rise of a “minimalistic” aesthetic. While this trend may still be “sinking” in, it is undoubtedly a favorite for 2020.

Focus on Powder Rooms

In previous years, powder rooms have been nothing more than a formality. However, the new decade is shifting attention to this underrated room.

Homeowners are increasingly choosing to go the extra mile when it comes to remodeling their powder room. It includes elaborate wallpapers, accented hardware, and quirky themes, as well.

Return of the Formal Dining Room

Most of us had assumed that formal dining rooms were pretty much on the verge of extinction. However, the new decade has brought a revival of sorts.

Homeowners are accepting the old with a hint of new. Not just that, they aren’t afraid to pull all the stops to go as extravagant as they want to highlight the importance of the dining area.

The Rise of Sustainability

The word “sustainable” has been making its presence known in recent times. The world is moving towards an environmentally aware state and home trends are not an exception.

Homeowners have been taking the environmental impact of their purchasing decision into consideration. From using upcycled materials to sticking to an “earthy” theme for their design, sustainability is the name of the game.

Stay Away From Trends

From bright-colored cabinets to quirky decor, every design element in 2020 comes down to one thing: “Personality”. The biggest trend in 2020 is to show your personality rather than shy away from it.

Homeowners are embracing breaking rules and trends. Drifting away from popular trends and staying true to your personality is the biggest trend of this decade.

In Conclusion

2020 has seen a rise in very familiar, yet unique trends. Those are here to stay. If you want to get an edge on your remodeling plans, it’s a good idea to keep them handy.


With the extra time many Americans have spent at home over the past few months, there have been plenty of opportunities to think about how that living space could be improved.

While this may not be the ideal time to tackle a full gut and renovate project, it may still be possible to do some smaller scale remodeling projects that update and improve your home. For example, simple cosmetic repairs like painting and replacing vanities can make a noticeable difference with minimal work or investment. Or if you’re hesitant about bringing contractors into the house, outdoor projects like replacing fencing, adding paver stones or constructing outdoor living spaces may be a benefit for your family.

Before you take on a project, consider these tips from Robi Kirsic, MCKBR, UDCP, chairman of the board of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and co-CEO of TimeLine Renovation & Design.

Define the Purpose

The first consideration whether you’re making changes for yourself or for future resale is the purpose of your project. This determines everything from the budget to the materials you select. Remember projects in the kitchen and bathroom typically bring the greatest return on investment.

It’s also a good idea to plan how you’ll use the renovated area. When possible, incorporate elements of universal design that don’t change how the space looks but will change how it works. For example, in the bathroom, install a curbless shower, taller toilet and block in walls to allow future installation of grab bars.

Stick to a Budget

Another early decision is your budget. It’s fruitless to spend time looking at materials and making design decisions based on products that exceed your budget or, conversely, fall below the quality level you prefer. Having a professional involved can help keep you from overspending and identify areas you may want to splurge or pull back.

Select a Remodeler

Friends and family can be great resources when it comes to choosing a remodeling contractor since they’re likely to give detailed and candid opinions about their experiences. When you begin interviewing companies yourself, verify they’re licensed and insured, and ask what they offer above those minimum requirements. Are they certified or accredited? Do they specialize in the type of work you’re considering? Also be sure to request and check references and search online for reviews.

Conduct Virtual Meetings

While some projects may require an in-person assessment, many planning sessions can be conducted virtually. You can even shop products to be used in your project virtually since online catalogs typically show a variety of colors and finishes along with prices. For items you need to see or feel to choose, like flooring, request samples to test in your home. To make your virtual meetings most productive, prepare by providing a detailed scope of work and be ready to provide measurements and show the space cleared of clutter.

Keep it Safe

For some families, sticking to outdoor projects may be more comfortable in the short term. For those who are ready to bring contractors inside, there are numerous steps you can take to create a safer working environment. Examples include asking everyone involved to wear face masks and gloves and using plastic at doorways to keep the work area separate from the living area. Regular disinfecting and a thorough cleaning at the end of the project are also important preventive steps.

Some hot home renovation trends this summer

Whether building a home from scratch, doing a complete renovation or simply refreshing a room or two, you can take your project to the next level with some design inspiration.

As one half of HGTV’s “The Cousins” and the founder of Lilyshea Development LLC, John Colaneri is well versed in top design trends. Having recently purchased a 1960s-era rambler with the goal of taking it down to the studs and remaking it, Colaneri is sharing insights and ideas to help you create a space in your own home where all the elements blend together:

• Color pop.

Find a color to carry throughout the entire home. While many people typically look to paint doors and trim white, consider being creative here.

“For my home, which has an open-concept floor plan, I knew that I wanted to use a dark color for trim and doors in order to enhance other design elements, such as my kitchen island and hood,” Colaneri says.

• Something old, something new.

Achieving a blend of old and new can bring warmth and texture to otherwise ascetic spaces and design elements.

“I love contemporary design, but my true passion is blending old and new together. For the main entry and hallway, I installed reclaimed natural wood to add warmth and character to the space,” Colaneri says. “Likewise, I selected industrial-style light fixtures that boast traditional touches.”

• Let it shine.

Blurring that line between the indoors and outside can make a space feel larger and more inviting. To do this, Colaneri suggests replacing old windows with those that bring in more natural light.

“I chose black trim to give my windows a contemporary look and allow them to be a focal point, but I went with a farmhouse-style grille for a traditional feel,” he says. “I also changed the rear windows into sliding doors, which made a huge difference by offering more outdoor access and light.”

Colaneri chose to work with Renewal by Andersen because of the quality of the products and the fact that it’s a one-stop shop, which can simplify a home renovation during these uncertain times.

“This is the first time I had one company handle so many aspects of my project,” he says. “You need to have a professional team that thinks of all the small things that can go wrong and reacts before they happen.”

• Customized tiling.

Tiles are a great way to customize a space so that it’s truly yours.

“Since I have three different design styles pervasive in my home — contemporary, rustic and industrial — I wanted the tiles to reflect this,” says Colaneri, who chose different effects for his daughter’s bathroom, the master bathroom and his home’s entryway, where he used a hexagon marble tile that blends into the wood floor.