Many homeowners who have spent significant time at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic have put the time to good use by starting or finishing home improvement projects.
A major benefactor is the flooring industry -- businesses that make, install or refinish carpet, hardwood, tile floors and similar surfaces.
Flooring companies in Colorado Springs said they're experiencing sales increases of between 20% and 50% over last year.
"I think we'll be this busy for another six months," said Brenda Allen, manager of O'Brien's Carpet One Floors and Home in Colorado Springs, one of two stores in the family-owned business.
"We're still able to get materials from manufactures and they're also trying to keep prices down," she said. "They want to stay this busy for as long as they can. We've hired extra people and could use more help, but it's hard to hire people when so many are making more on unemployment."
Owen and Megan Durham were at Allen's store Friday to pick out new flooring to replace their carpet. The couple has three kids and three dogs; Owen spent eight weeks at home from military duty and Megan works from home.
"We kind of had been talking about it, and then I pulled the trigger because the dog vomited on the carpet," Megan said. "I just said (that) I'm done, I'm so done -- and literally that next day, I dragged all three kids here."
The couple said installing new flooring in their home will cost around $3,000.
"For us, it definitely struck at an opportune time with tax returns coming in and saving money on gas and other things," Owen said. "That partially pushed us over the edge."
Allen said the most popular type of flooring is luxury vinyl plank, which can look like tile and is waterproof and pet-proof.
Despite the strong demand for flooring, Allen said completing installation takes no more than 3 to 4 weeks -- which is a week less than usual.
"Summer is our peak season anyway," she said. "But this summer, I've never seen anything like it in my 25 years in the business."