MONROE COUNTY, Pa. — Trying to find someone to fix your leaky roof or paint your living room wall has been a challenge for some homeowners lately. Those who don't want to wait for the service have been trying to figure it out on their own.
If you've recently found yourself walking into your nearby hardware store just looking around, you're not alone. A lot of people are doing the same.
At Steele's Ace Hardware near Tannersville, people have been coming in to buy supplies to do at-home projects themselves.
"I got some help for my furnace, but the dehumidifier and the other stuff I am doing myself, a little electrical work," said Mark McKenna.
One big reason people are doing it themselves these days is that it's been challenging finding someone to do the handy work, especially for smaller jobs.
"We've had a lot of customers coming in looking for painters, and they can't find painters, so they come in and try to get the job done themselves," said Devesh Ramdeo. "They come in and ask for advice, how, when, what to do. We try to give them as much help as we can."
Painting, plumbing, roof work, you name it—the project is being done somewhere.
At Cramer's Hardware near Mount Pocono, it's much of the same. Store manager David Parker says the business offers some installation work. The handyman who does the jobs is also booked.
"He's very busy. We get leads every day between the two stores. He's out doing estimates every afternoon," Parker said.
Parker says another issue is supply and demand. Throughout the pandemic, a lot of people chose to do home improvement projects. That made finding materials like lumber a challenge. Then, throw in a lack of workers and increased prices.
"I just had a lady call in about roofing shingles. It's a special kind, high definition that is going to be difficult to find," said Parker.
Hardware store workers say if it's a small project, you're likely able to do it yourself, but if it's a fix that will cost you more in the long run, it's best to wait for a professional if you can.