News articles written about Pekel Construction and Remodeling
Now they're ready for more, and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry's 40th annual Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Show Thursday through next Sunday at Wisconsin State Fair Park, couldn't come at a better time. "The weather has allowed (contractors) to really start eating up their backlogs," said Howard Rowell, president of the Milwaukee NARI/Home Improvement Council and owner of Royal Chimney Service in Wauwatosa.
"So people will be bringing their best customer service and examples of some of their best products to the show to generate new business." Although the show will help generate business, some contractors say demand for remodeling is growing on its own. Why is the picture
"People are taking a look at their investments, and they don't trust the market right now, but they know their home is a safe investment," Rowell said. "At the same time, they can enjoy that investment." Uncertainty about traveling that has kept people closer to home also factors in, said David Pekel, president of Pekel Construction and Remodeling, which has seen a 25% increase in sales for January over last year.
Pekel said many people who have chosen to forgo travel this year in the aftermath of Sept. 11 are investing that money into their homes., "They've been putting these projects off for a while, and since they're not doing any significant traveling this year, they're thinking maybe this is a good time to get it done," Pekel said. Ken Connor, president of Helmut's Remodeling, partially attributes the estimated 30% increase in inquiries his company has seen to a renewed focus on family life.
"They're doing these renovations because they like where they live, and they plan on staying there for a long time," Con-nor said. Rowell said the remodeling industry is less affected by downturns than other segments of the economy. "From talking to other builders, the trend is that remodeling is following the housing market in that it's a protected segment of the economy and isn't getting hit like the rest of it," Rowell said. Rowell said that in both thick and thin times, people want to improve their homes, whether for their own enjoyment or to increase the home's sale price.
Even with things going as well as they are, Pekel said many remodelers count on the NARI show to bring in business. He said his company gets the lion's share of its leads for the spring and summer at the show. Pekel also said it's one of the best ways for people to find the right company for their project. "It gives customers a chance to window shop in a non-competitive, non-threatening environment versus just cracking the Yellow Pages," Pekel said.
"It's the best resource for people to find an ethical, quality-oriented contractor." Since the fall NARI show was canceled because of the Sept. 11 attacks the week before, Pekel expects high attendance for next weekend's show. "At the time of the fall show, people were still in shock and no one was going to make any investment in the face of that uncertainty," Pekel said. "Most people are more secure now."