After a 30% drop in revenue in 2009, Paul McClorey, president of Paulson’s Construction, is seeing a few signs of life in Howell, Mich. “This year does appear to be better,” he says. “There is more pent-up demand.”

The harsh winter storms in February meant homeowners didn’t think about remodeling until March. “[But now] the phone is ringing,” he says. “It’s spring and people want to get things done.” McClorey usually participates in one or two spring home shows, but this year he attended six. He and his new salesperson are following up on those leads, many of which are for new windows to take advantage of federal tax credits.

However, McClorey is finding that many homeowners are still in a holding pattern until the November state election. He is not happy with the current governor who is trying to pass legislation for a 6% tax on several services, including remodeling. McClorey hopes things will improve once the governor leaves in November.

In the meantime, he is doing his best to ignore the slow economy and move forward with improvements at his company, which recently won an award from the Michigan Historic Preservation Network and plans to do some marketing around that.

—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.