Hear from homeowners who successfully completed a renovation during the pandemic
(Above) Sweeten homeowners Kirsty + David’s renovation
When COVID-19 hit last year, it seemed like the entire country went into shutdown. People started working from home, kids entered remote learning, and businesses had to pivot to figure out how to continue in this mainly virtual world.
Sweeten general contractors adjusted their routine by limiting the number of people on the construction project, wearing masks, using separate entrances so paths didn’t cross, and giving updates via teleconference, among other changes.
Technology was used to keep the process moving forward by conducting virtual site visits on Sweeten’s platform. Homeowners were able to continue to receive estimates, hire their contractor, and get their projects slotted into their calendars.
Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and up to $50,000 in renovation financial protection—for free.
Here, we look at some of the success stories of homeowners who decided that renovating during the pandemic was worthwhile—and achieved their goals.
Gutting the interior and changing the exterior
For Kirsty and her family, their renovation centered around adding square footage so that they were not “all on top of each other.” This goal would become even more poignant as the country shut down and the family found themselves spending a lot more time together. They worked with a Sweeten contractor to add 400 square feet to their home. This allowed them to enlarge the family room, master bath, and master bedroom.
The city of L.A. allowed residential construction to continue and precautions were followed while completing the renovation. Everyone on-site wore masks and the family moved out. The homeowner said on renovating during the shutdown, “We were limited by the pandemic on the things we could do as a family, so it made sense to turn our attention to something constructive.”
Renovating to work-from-home
Brooklyn homeowner Michele contacted Sweeten before the pandemic hit to look for a contractor to overhaul her bathroom and kitchen. At the time, she had acquired a work-from-home position and found a few aspects that she found frustrating the more time she spent at home. Little did she—or any of us—know that working from home would become a lot of people’s reality practically overnight.
“I had updated my home office to suit the remote role, but experiencing my out-of-date bathroom all day, every day, prompted me to get planning,” said Michele. She worked with her Sweeten contractor to make her “smallish” apartment accommodate her desired luxuries. Among them were a floor-to-ceiling pantry, a dishwasher, and plenty of storage space. Like many, customizing space to meet their daily schedules while at home is now more important than ever.
“We had to wait for the lockdown to lift and for my building to let the crew return, clearly articulating when they would arrive, and wearing masks as require.”
Planning for the future
Sweeten renovator Mickey was looking ahead to retire in the next couple of years and decided it was time to remodel his 1,000-square-foot apartment for his new lifestyle. With the help of his Sweeten contractor, he turned his kitchen into one l he’d admired in other people’s homes. He even included a washer and dryer. A walk-in shower replaced a tub for easier access for limited mobility.
He chose to stay in the apartment during the construction. This proved to be a challenge but one that outweighed the expense of renting a temporary space. Since COVID had shut down his gym, Mickey found alternatives for showering. In the end, it was worth it when he saw the final product!
An NYC urban nest gets the job done
When her family’s NYC studio got handed down to her, Taylor knew the 320-square-foot apartment wouldn’t be her forever home. The first step was overhauling the dark atmosphere and removing the many built-ins. She posted her project to find a contractor who would turn the space into a “light-filled, urban nest with an updated kitchen and bath.” She chose timeless materials and kept permanent fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom neutral. Resale appeal was the goal.
A couple of weeks into the process, New York City shut down. “Our Sweeten contractor was helpful in dealing with all the new health-related laws, as well as our co-op’s rules,” Taylor said. “As the pandemic escalated, only a few workers were allowed on-site, staying distanced; toward the end, it was only one worker at a time.”
Taylor ended up leaving the apartment and quarantining outside of Manhattan. Luckily, she was able to manage the construction from a distance. She discussed design choices over text, email, and FaceTime. “It was stressful, but I love what we ended up with!”
A Chicago bathroom prepped for resale
Sweeten homeowner Krystin was in the middle of updating her home in Chicago with the hopes of selling when the pandemic hit. Her Sweeten contractor remodeled her master bathroom along with the hallway bathroom. They were the areas in the home that needed the most help. Unfortunately, Krystin’s plans to sell the condo are on hold due to the pandemic. However, she’s optimistic that as things return to normal, her two new spaces will be real selling points.
Renovating during a pandemic requires expert help. Get matched with a licensed, experienced Sweeten contractor for free.
If you’re looking to renovate underfoot, read about different flooring options and what they cost.
Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, scope, and style. Follow the blog, Sweeten Stories, for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation with Sweeten.