Michael K. Walker’s remodeling business in Sarasota, Fla., is doing fine. His upper-end clients are keeping his 26-year-old, $8 million business, Michael K. Walker & Associates, in the black. But the veteran remodeler sees some changes on the horizon that are “really sobering,” he says. “Everybody here is incredibly on edge.”

“The permitting authorities are scrutinizing everything to death because, No. 1, they have the time to do it,” Walker says. “They’re trying to protect their workload because they have less to do. We’re seeing comments and criteria being thrown at projects that we’ve never seen before. If you get angry with the permit people they just take longer. If you go over their head they remember it the next time you’ve got something before them.”

Walker is also concerned about new legislation on wind-pool insurance that’s just hitting the books. “If you’re in the wind pool, you’ll soon have to have hurricane shutters on every opening,” he says. “That’s going to have a huge impact not only on the shutter industry but on the remodeling industry as a whole.”