News Story

WINCHESTER — People cooped up at home because of COVID-19 has resulted in an uptick in remodeling projects.

Dee Dee Ricketts, owner of The Floor Shop in Winchester, said business has actually increased since the pandemic hit the area a year ago — and she and her staff are “counting our blessings.”
“Where a lot of people lost a lot of work, most of the construction industry did not,” Ricketts said. “I think that’s because people are home and they are tired of looking at it. They are bored and they want something to look at. They are upgrading and they are making it prettier.”

Ricketts has noticed several trends emerge during the pandemic. She said flooring tends to be made consistent throughout the entire house, and vinyl plank is “very big” in kitchens because it is waterproof. She also noted that most kitchen remodels include backsplashes.

COREtec waterproof flooring at The Floor Shop Winchester
She said designs are being kept simple, and that gray colors are beginning to lose popularity while blue colors are gaining popularity.

Ricketts said her biggest advice for people who want to remodel is to ignore what they see on the HGTV channel and hire a contractor. She said remodeling and construction TV shows have created unrealistic expectations.

“Just because they do it in 30 minutes on the television doesn’t mean you can do it in 30 minutes at home,” Ricketts said. “That 30 minutes [on TV] is probably two months worth of work.”

Eric Pratt of Cavalier Kitchens and Baths in Winchester has noticed a shift from open rooms to sectioned, closed-off rooms with dividers to give different members of the household their own space.

“Because of working from home, schooling from home, trying to get away from people inside the house versus having one big room where everybody’s on the couch and you can see through the whole house,” Pratt said. “That’s great on the weekend, but during the week [it's difficult] because everyone is talking and Zooming. So we are seeing a little bit of a trend starting where open room is reversing to closed off and give more privacy in the home since people are at home more.”
Tile Showroom at The Floor Shop Winchester
Pratt said his first piece of advice for people wanting to remodel is to start early and plan early. Due to an increase in demand, contractors take longer to become available and it takes longer for supplies and products to be shipped.

“More planning and lead time is needed for remodeling or any project,” Pratt said. “You don’t want to be out of your kitchen too long. You don’t want to tear out your kitchen and expect to get cabinets in four weeks like it used to be. It’s probably going to be 6-8 weeks for mass-produced [products].”

Pratt said one of the big trends of the past year is sophisticated replacement cabinets that provide multiple ways to store pots, pans and chef items. He said a big push in remodeling is to upgrade not only the look of kitchen cabinets but what’s in them. Ease of access, ease of storage, cool ways to store stuff, pull outs for spices and specialized chef cabinets that have knife collections inside are among the many features considered in installing new cabinets.

He said metals are “a big deal” in kitchens now and that matte black and champagne gold are popular colors.

For countertops, quartz is “king” followed by granite in terms of popularity, Pratt said. White, gray and blue are popular kitchen colors. Deep browns and deep reds are popular in wood-stained kitchens.

Pratt said because people are at home more, they have more time to think about remodeling projects they previously pushed aside. Pratt said the increase in demand for remodeling has led to Cavalier Kitchens often having a booked schedule.

“You can’t wait,” Pratt said. “If you want to start remodeling within a year, get on it now.”