At the Enfield Home Show, interest in the conversion is still high

March 27 – ENFIELD – The annual Home and Product Show, held in Enfield on Saturday and Sunday, showed interest in home remodeling remains high even as the pandemic eases and people are moving out of their homes.

The show, held at the Enfield Square Mall, was hosted by the North Central Connecticut Chamber of Commerce and featured numerous home improvement specialists and contractors from across the state ready to speak to interested homeowners.

One of those contractors was the Trumbull-based Power Home Remodeling Group, which focuses on windows, trim and roofing, employee Esteban Rivera said.

Rivera said that even during the pandemic, the contractor still had a “record-breaking number” of clients.

“We were more efficient as a company with fewer employees,” Rivera added, saying many employees chose not to work during the peak of the pandemic. Nevertheless, the company was able to keep up with the demand.

Rivera said that while demand for home improvements continues, customers don’t typically have to wait too long for service.

Rivera added that the contractor actually replaced their own windows, doors, and gutters and only had to wait two weeks for service. He also said that the supply shortages caused by the pandemic have not hit his company as hard as others.

“Everyone feels it, but for us it’s not that intense,” he said, adding that the group has “private leadership” to get the materials they need.

Another contractor with a booth at the show was Window Genie, which supplies northern Connecticut and provides home window, siding and roof cleaning services.

Bob Felch, a Window Genie staffer, said his group was hit harder during the peak of the pandemic.

“For COVID, we made a big hit,” Felch said, adding, “We had about a 35% drop in sales because people just didn’t trust anyone. We still wore the masks and got dressed, but it was tough when we got shut down.”

Nevertheless, customer interest is now so great that Felch is currently booked for months, he said.

“We just need more people to keep going,” he added.

Of the homeowners at Sunday’s event, most were not looking for a specific service but were interested in the various options.

Adam and Kara Barsalou, from Enfield, were some of those homeowners at Sunday’s event.

“We’ve been coming to these shows for years,” Adam Barsalou said, adding, “Now we’re new homeowners so we’re here with one goal. We want to look around.”

Enfield resident Nelson Ouellet was also one of the homeowners at Sunday’s event and said he also comes every year to browse the different options.

Ouellet added that he and his wife don’t typically look for specific services, but will follow up “when we see something that interests us.”

“We just look around and see if anything comes up,” Ouellet said.

In addition to home improvement vendors, the event also featured local artisans, family entertainment and a pet adoption event hosted by Bloomfield-based Dog Star Rescue and East Haddam-based Change a Life Rescue.

A raffle was also held on Sunday with a prize of $15,000 worth of home window repairs and replacements.

Ben covers Coventry and Tolland for the Journal Inquirer.

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