Home renovation: Lifestyle changes, aging homes, rising prices spur record spending | Science & Environment

About a year after the onset of the pandemic, Kathy Lange-Novak and her husband, Frank Novak, decided it was time to update their Fitchburg home.

After 26 years, the floors, countertops and appliances were showing their age, and the couple thought they needed to upgrade before putting the house on the market.

“This is the first time we’ve remodeled anything,” Kathy said. “It needed an overhaul.”

Like so many Americans, the recently retired couple had spent most of the past year at home as COVID-19 health restrictions limited their social activities.

“It’s one thing when you go, ‘We could really use new carpeting, but we can go to the movies,’” and forget about it, Lange-Novak said. “When you have to look at it — that’s when you think, ‘I really need to do something about it.’”

Home remodeling

P.J. Ender, lead carpenter for Degnan Design-Build-Remodel in DeForest, works in the kitchen of

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Three Days in Tulum | Centsational Style

Certain places will hold a sense of fascination in your mind until you walk the streets and see them for yourself. Tulum was one of those places I’d seen pictures of and heard about but wanted to experience. In February I took a trip there with a good friend of mine who was also curious about the hype.

What impressed me the most during my visit was that most of the architecture reflected the natural surroundings. Unlike other parts of the Riviera Maya to the north and the overdeveloped shores of Cancun, I didn’t see any building in Tulum taller than its jungle treetops. It’s become a place to be seen as an influencer in the past few years, even in the middle of a pandemic where Mexico became an escape for travelers who were willing to risk Covid exposure in exchange for cocktails in the sand.

Tulum struggles to

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