The perfect storm of home renovations is upon us.
So many people are spending so much time at home these days that a dwelling’s imperfections become that much more apparent.
Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and a home sales boom in which buyers are willing to invest in long-term changes once they get the keys, Santa Fe remodeling companies are booked solid with orders.
“It’s in hyperdrive right now,” said Steve Pompei, owner of Pompei’s Home Remodeling in Santa Fe. “I am stacking jobs into next summer. My lead time is usually two to three months.”
Remodeling in Santa Fe boomed during the last recession a dozen years ago, an outgrowth of what then was a home-sales bust. Many of those builders-turned-remodelers remain in the game and say they find themselves with plenty of work in the COVID age.
“The only thing that has happened in COVID is the phone is ringing more,” said Douglas Maahs, owner of DMC, a Santa Fe-based remodeler. “More people are looking for remodel than before. People have been at home and decide, ‘We are stuck here, let’s do something.’ ”
Santa Fe resident Miles D. Conway left on a three-day trip with his son, Tilman, to look at colleges, and when they came home, his wife, Mikahla Beutler, had that grin.
“ ‘Look, no carpeting. We are remodeling the upstairs,’ ” Conway recounted, noting he was unaware that the pending remodel would start during his short absence. “It went from just putting in flooring and turned into a full upstairs remodel.”
Boni Armijo, owner of Building Adventures Unlimited in Santa Fe, had a steady diet of remodels and additions from homebuyers from Dallas, Houston and Manhattan, N.Y., until the pandemic started.
“What has changed is the clientele we are getting,” Armijo said.