There’s A Home Renovation Boom, But Good Luck Finding A Contractor

With rising home prices and low interest rates, Americans are spending a record amount of money fixing up their kitchens, bathrooms and man-caves. And business would be booming more but there aren’t enough carpenters and tradespeople to do all the work. Nathaniel May survived the housing crash, but just barely. He’s a general contractor who does home renovations in the Boston area. As recently as four years ago, he and his partner were feeling a little desperate. “We were both working out of the back of our truck doing handyman projects to pay the bills,” May says. “At that time I was renting a house and I worked out a deal with my landlord to re-shingle about 50 percent of the house in exchange for rent.” May says bartering for a place to live was some of the best work he could get at the time. Today, though, May is back in business in a big way. On a recent morning he stopped by a home where his company, Aurora Custom Builders, is finishing up a $140,000 kitchen renovation. The homeowner, Teri Larson, is beaming over her new stone backsplash and countertops. “I think it looks spectacular,” she says.


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