Home isolation drives renovation boom

by | Apr 20, 2020

A recent report found that while some builders have seen a slow in larger project demand, there is now an increasing demand for smaller jobs to be completed by builders within the residential market.

Builder, Paul Rice of PGR Projects, recently told The Sydney Morning Herald that while some of his bigger jobs were slowing down, there had been an increasing demand for small jobs and maintenance from home owners in isolation, such as repairing dodgy door hinges.

“I have had a lot of people coming to me wanting to fix all the stuff that has been broken in their house for years. There is a lot of home grooming going on. If there is a wall that needs painting and you stare at it long enough – you will paint it,” he said.

Mr Rice has hired several out-of-work people from the entertainment industry, including actors and staff who lost jobs on the Marvel movie filming at Fox Studios, to help him. He believed the up-tick in demand for building and maintenance work was “100 per cent” because clients were spending more time at home.

“People are usually so time-poor in their jobs and everyone has a large mortgage, they’ve never had time to fix these little things. Now they do,” he said in The Sydney Morning Herald report.

Builders and hardware workers also said that Sydney residents are using extra time spent in their house or apartment to spruce up the garden, fix a crooked door or paint the walls.

“We have never seen business like this in our lives. We have never had it this busy,” Sammy Sciglitano from Booth and Taylor Hardware in Annandale, said in the Sydney Morning Herald report.

Mr Sciglitano, who has worked at the store for 13 years, said customers first started stocking up on potting mix, fertiliser, and fruit or vegetable seeds a few weeks ago, before their focus turned to paints and outdoor decks.

Sales were surging “at least 50 per cent” on weekends as homeowners turned into do-it-yourself tradespeople.

“There are going to be a lot of houses in Annandale, Leichhardt, Glebe – looking schmick. And a lot of people with crazy-coloured doors. I had one bloke come in today – gloss enamel dandelion yellow he got for his front door. People are bored. Very, very bored,” he said.

Ynez Campos, a staff member at Inspirations Paint, said interior and exterior paint had been flying off the shelves at the Haberfield store.

“A lot of people are re-doing their [house] exteriors and there is a lot of DIY. And people have kids at home, so they are getting the kids to help.”

She said fewer time pressures meant customers had “a bit more time to fuss over the different tonnes of white”.

A recent Bunnings Warehouse survey of about 1000 people also showed 64 per cent were aiming to tackle one do-it-yourself project a month, with gardening, de-cluttering, painting and landscaping the most popular, according to The Sydney Morning Herald report.