VICTORIA -- After a year of living through a pandemic, the numbers are in and business has been exceptional for building supply retailers. Good, bad or ugly, people have been renovating their home and a new report finds that not all ‘Do It Yourself-ers’ are happy with their finished product.

“Business has been awesome,” said Frank Clarke, operations manager with Lumber World in Saanich. “It has been very good.”

“Since the beginning of the pandemic we’ve been swamped with customers. They’re all isolating at home, they have backyard projects,” he said.

Through the spring of last year, Lumber World saw a 50 per cent increase in sales for things like decking and fencing.

Once the weather turned, those amateur builders began to focus on indoor projects.

“Our kitchen sales were up almost 40 per cent over the previous year,” said Clarke.

Meanwhile, bathroom renovations were up 40 percent, flooring was up about 30 per cent, and new doors saw a 30 per cent jump, just to name a few.

“Although most people are happy with the renovations and upgrades they have made, there are people who have regrets,” said Karla Louwers, public affairs officer with BC Hydro.

The retail therapy during COVID-19 in the form of renovations wasn’t always money well spent.

A new report, commissioned by BC Hydro, found that 20 per cent of people regret some aspect of their home pandemic project.

“Bathroom renovations, kitchen renovations and flooring renovations were all the top regrets,” said Louwers.

BC Hydro says the most common mistake is spending time and money upgrading the stuff that makes the house look better, but does not necessarily increase its worth.

“Energy efficiency upgrades will improve the comfort, as well as value of your home,” said Louwers.

Back at Lumber World, business is brisk, but the pandemic is also making things tough. Wood is becoming harder to source each day and the costs of almost everything keeps rising.

“There are some serious supply chain issues right now,” Clarke said. 

“But the demand is still there. The mills are having a hard time keeping up with the capacities that they need to keep the market going,” he said.

Lumber World has been told by their suppliers that orders they are making now for plywood won’t be filled until possibly August.