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‘Time to get it done’

Gulfport couple take part in pandemic home-improvement boom

Calvin and Misty Stevenson had considered adding a structure to their Gulfport property for a while. 

And like so many who found themselves homebound during the pandemic, the couple tackled the home-improvement project in 2020. 

“With limited places to go and limited things to do, we figured now would be the time to get it done,” says Misty — a registered nurse and co-owner of Stevenson Elite Renovations. 

The Stevensons were in good — and abundant — company. Houzz, an online home remodeling platform, reported a 58 percent annual increase in project leads for home professionals as of last June — with outdoor spaces representing the biggest jump in demand. During a three-month period last year, logged 330 million U.S. Google searches for home improvement work — an increase of almost 50 percent from the same period the previous year.

As owners of a professional home renovation company, specializing in home repairs, floor installations, remodeling and more, the Stevensons had a distinct advantage in constructing their 600-square-foot addition — a work garage with an office for Calvin. The new structure provides extra space for tool storage and other purposes at the couple’s home in the Northwood Hills subdivision— which they purchased in 2017 and share with their two toy poodles. 

“Ninety-five percent of the work, we did ourselves,” Misty says. The process, which began in September and took about a month, involved pulling a permit, laying the concrete foundation and lastly building the structure. 

The Stevensons managed to stay in their $14,000 budget and didn’t run into any unforeseen complications. In fact, Misty notes, “We actually finished sooner than expected.” 

A project of this size and scope takes a lot of know-how, so Misty advises those who are considering something similar to hire a professional. As usual, she says, she’s very impressed with her husband’s talent and the outcome achieved. 

“We wanted a modern look that went with the home, and not necessarily a barn style that most people have,” she adds. “We got exactly what we were looking for.” 

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