With a potential stimulus check on the way, people in Johnson Co., KS look for home improvement ideas

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — With federal stimulus money potentially headed to peoples pockets, home renovation is on the mind for some individuals who have been cooped-up during the pandemic.

It was a busy Saturday for vendors at the Johnson County Home & Garden show. The convention is one of the first to return to the KC-metro following about a year of cancelled events.

Thousands of visitors mingled with contractors and other workers, like Tyler Morelan from MidWest Flooring Company. He said that even the idea of an upgrade is more appealing to customers with promise of a federal stimulus.

“It’s going to feel a lot more comfortable to make those decisions and get things done and be done around the house when you’ve got a little bit more than expected” Morelan said.

Dylan McIntyre, selling walk-in bathtubs and other bathroom items for Alenco in Lenexa, said stimulus checks add to a list of factors why construction is hot business.

“A lot of people, since they are stuck at home, they are noticing a lot more projects within their home,” McIntyre said.

“A lot of people are doing Bed & Breakfasts and just selling their houses because the housing market’s so big right now. So they’re updating their houses. They’re appealing to the older generations,” McIntyre said, again referencing the walk-in bathtub.

Alex Klattee, selling commercial grade umbrellas from Vrienden Outdoor Living, said that the stimulus check clearly won’t solve everything – but being back for shows with stimulus-fueled customers is a good sign.

“I was in Michigan doing a show when this whole COVID thing went down and I did one day at the first show and then they shut the whole show down,” Klatte said. “I didn’t do another show until, what, October. And that was the South Dakota State Fair and that was pretty much the only state that didn’t shut anything down. That’s the only reason why that went,” Klatte said.

“Just the fact that I’m working again is awesome,” Klatte said.

The stimulus is not yet a set thing, so many customers on Saturday were still in an information-seeking mode.

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The Johnson County Home & Garden Show continues Sunday at the Overland Park Convention Center from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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