WHEELING - Colder weather does not stop the efforts of handy men and women in the Ohio Valley, according to Wheeling Lowe's Assistant Manager Jan Dijkstra.
"Right now most projects are turning indoors," Dijkstra said, adding the two areas of the home seeing the most work this time of year are the kitchen and bathroom.
Kitchen and Cabinet Sales Specialist Megan Wagener said her department sees an increase in business each autumn. She said people usually begin planning kitchen improvements late in the summer, consulting with Lowe's representatives during September and October to attempt completion by Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Lowe’s Kitchen and Cabinet Sales Specialist Megan Wagener stands next to a countertop made of quartz — a brighter, more functional material she said many prefer over traditional, darker surfaces such as black marble or granite.
Photo by Daniel Dorsch
The kitchen "is probably the most important room in the house," Wagener said. "Ten to 20 percent should be put into the kitchen. It's really what sells the house - the kitchen and the bathroom."
In a change from tradition, Wagener said residents increasingly choose lighter and brighter colors for cabinets and countertops, leaving behind dark cherry wood and black marble in favor of countertop quartz and such colors as red, green and blue for cabinets. "Lighter colors are definitely more in right now," Wagener said. "But there's a cabinet for every function."
Plumbing Specialist Frank McNeil said the plumbing and bathroom section gets regular business year-round, but still sees an increase in the fall.
"Our plumbing department year-round is pretty consistent number-wise," McNeil said. "There's no slow or peak period. But just in winter and fall we see a lot of remodeling done."
While remodeling projects usually can be done gradually, McNeil said, the autumn and early winter months usually see a lot of people reworking or replacing their bathroom systems. He said floor replacement especially accelerates the process.
One innovation in which McNeil notices more people investing is a new, energy-efficient toilet.
"The old toilet used three and a half gallons each time you flushed," McNeil said. "The new one uses 1.6 or even 1.29. They flush better and they save a lot more water."