We live in interesting times, and such times have distractions aplenty. In this segment of The Weekly, Mary Kathryn Reese and Jennifer Sherrill, CEO and president of Kitchen Design Concepts, respectively, help us cut through those distractions to focus on what's happening in remodeling.
1. Fewer Larger Projects
Remodeling is impressively resilient to tough economic times, but not completely. When homeowners have less money, remodeling doesn't stop but the jobs do tend to get smaller. It happened during the Great Recession and it's happening now. "(During the last downturn) we saw an uptick in people who wanted what we describe as 'lipstick and makeup" projects," says Mary Kathryn Reese. Those are projects that are small—so small that Kitchen Design Concepts may have to pass on them in normal times—and usually include updating countertops, faucets, hardware, and backsplashes.
"Now we're sort of seeing that again during this COVID period," says Jennifer Sherrill.
2. Different Holiday Priorities
In conversations both Sherrill and Reese have had with prospective clients, what they're hearing is that the holidays are going to be different this year.
"Whereas typically we would slow down on the holidays, it look slike we're going to be full bore all the way through the end of the year," Sherill says.
People aren't planning to have people over this year, Reese explains. "These are great things for our business, but it's very sad to hear."
"Lipstick and makeup" jobs are making up an increasingly large percent of the workload.
3. Outdoor Kitchens
A final observation from the two is an increase in outdoor kitchens, coming in the form of both improvements to existing spaces and the building of new outdoor spaces altogether.
"They want another living space, really a dining space," Reese says.
Homeowners want a place where they can still congerate with family and friends, she and Sherrill explain. Reese adds, "We have at least five or six people currently in the pipeline that we're having that conversation with."