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Optimism within industry abounds ahead of annual Calgary Renovation Show
The economic uncertainty of recent years impacted the bottom line of many home renovations companies in the Calgary area but a recent uptick in business has encouraged renovators.
"A lot of them are telling us that business has picked up and that they are starting to have more clients come in, that come through their doors, wanting to do some great renovations on their house,” said Teri Salazar, the show manager of the Calgary Renovation Show. “Everyone is feeling a bit optimistic that we're over the worst of it."
Salazar says the increased business for renovators in Calgary could be due in part to a change in attitude regarding real estate or an attempt to reap the benefits of selling an updated home.
"People are choosing to either stay in the house they have and renovate it for their needs or maybe, finally, the housing market is recovering a bit and maybe they're doing some renovations so they can maximize the value of their investment."
Sales of advance tickets for this weekend’s Calgary Renovation Show are up compared to recent years.
Greg Wagner, a managing director with renovation company Wallace Fleming, says some companies are adopting new techniques to showcase their work. Wallace Fleming purchased an opulent, 6,000 sq. ft. home in the southwest neighbourhood of Patterson Heights that was built in 1981 and completed an extensive remodeling effort to have the home fit with the tastes of modern times.
“It was over a year’s worth of labour, love and hate,” said Wagner. “Basically, we’re north of a million dollars on how much money has gone into here but the idea was to illustrate to people considering a renovation what’s possible, what can be done.”
"Styles change. New finishes add a lot of value to the house."
The company opens the six bedroom, six bathroom home for showings on Thursday nights and on weekends.
While business has not returned to the levels experienced before the price of oil made a drastic drop, Wagner says the company has seen progress of late.
“We went from, in 2014, from having the phone ring five times a day to five times a week to five times a month,” said Wagner. “It’s certainly turning a corner, it’s not back to five times a day, but it’s heading in the right direction.”
With files from CTV’s Stephanie Wiebe