Home renovations business booming amid pandemic, hurricane season

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NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) -When was the last time you took a good, long look at the outside of your house? For millions around the globe, the answer to that question would likely be, “Not lately.” And for good reason.

With the COVID-19 crisis, many homeowners say they’ve had far more important matters taking up their time and attention. The exterior of their home, some say, has been the least of their worries. Instead, most people say they have focused heavily, if not exclusively, on the inside, keeping it clean, making sure family members are safe.

Priorities are about to change, albeit briefly, for residents of the Sunshine State.

During a typical hurricane season, Floridians know the drill. We get it. We’ve lived it. However, this year is anything but typical.

With a storm now approaching, homeowners have to pivot from pandemic to storm preps.

Pasco mom Lindsay Weber says there’s no question that the pandemic has dominated nearly everything we do, but with a storm on the way, she’s shifting her focus to storm prep.

Her home in Long Leaf is now receiving a “long look,” she tells 8 On Your Side.

“As soon as a storm hits the Gulf, we’re pretty much at a standstill,” Lindsay says.

As a mortgage broker, Lindsay tells us she’s seen firsthand the damage storms can do, especially if your roof needs repairs and isn’t ready.

“It’s devastating, everything you have is ruined, your furniture, your children’s toys. Everything you’ve worked for is now sopping wet with water,” she told us.

Taking the time now to make small repairs could be the key to saving your largest investment later.

“It’s so important. We bought this house in June, knowing certain things needed to be repaired,” Lindsay said.

Regan Wise is an local expert when comes to getting homes hurricane-ready and in tip-top shape. He says the right time to get ready is right now. Don’t wait.

For nearly two decades his company, Templar Contracting, has helped countless homeowners before and after the storm, and business is booming these days.

Wise’s company has been working non-stop for months during the pandemic.

People have been staying in their homes for months, some of which are in mandatory quarantine after testing positive for the virus. Others say they stay inside for safety reasons, so they’re not exposed to the outside world for fear of becoming infected.

Wise says people are starting to notice more nuisances around their house that would normally go undetected. COVID changed all that with people spending their days and nights in their houses, noticing far more things that need to be fixed.

Wise says people should pay more attention to the exterior of their home. If there are roof repairs that need to be made, no matter how small – don’t wait, experts say. If something needs to be patched up, like roof shingles, do it now.

Templar’s owner says he’s seen people who wait on the smallest of projects, only to return with the largest of damages from the storm. Also, he says, a professional paint job will create a powerful water barrier. In addition, he advises homeowners to buy a caulk gun and work on the winsows.

“We’ve seen so many of these cases, people who have costly damage, when they could’ve avoided it. We always tell them, get this done now. We don’t want the woulda, coulda, shoulda to happen to them.”

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