After a long Winter in the Midwest, Spring is finally Here! Trees and bushes are budding, grass is starting to turn green, and birds are nesting in any and all open spots. Spring always represents a rebirth and anew, but in the Midwest, especially in Michigan, the optimism is tainted. It is tainted by the slow economy, housing bubble burst, and the lack of an optimistic rebound.
Contractors, such as , home improvement designers, carpenters, landscapers, tradesman, and builders are most effected. People have lost most of their equity in their homes, which in the past allowed them the funds to do home & landscaping improvements. Builders have stopped building homes and are walking away from built spec homes (foreclosure). Most homeowners are foregoing any additions, improvements, or updates, due to the lack of expendable funds.
In the past year, I have only done a few "New" home estimates for brick paving & landscaping. Back in the 90's, I would say that I did a few "New" home estimates in a DAY! Times where robust and cash was flowing. Economic fears, record fuel prices, unstable job status, and unprecedented home foreclosures have stymied the optimism of consumers.
Good & honest contractors are hanging on, cutting costs, improving efficiency, and expanding services, to continue to better serve their clients. Actually, since Fall of 1999, the robust economy times have falter. My fellow contractor friends kept saying, " We are at rock bottom, and things can only improve from here! I'm hanging in." This was are statement in 2003, and has been repeated for 5 years now! I personally have exhausted all financial options & cost cutting techniques, but one person, company, or country can not control all these outside influences to our economy, consumer confidence, and most of all, Optimism!