Economy turns homeowners into improvers

FAIRFIELD - Difficult economic times have forced home owners to avoid buying new homes and start fixing up their current homes.

Local hardware stores are seeing more and more customers, looking to keep a little cash, while trying to work on their homes using more rental tools.

Jimmy Izzo owns a hardware store in Westport and says that his store is seeing more customers looking to avoid paying for repair costs during significant economic struggles.

"[They're] always asking questions," Izzo says. "How do I do a bathroom, retiling, grouting?"

Another retailer benefiting from more customers looking to do it themselves is Home Depot. Fairfield Home Depot manager Mark Machaud says that tool rental sales have become popular items for customers.

"People coming in and saying, 'we want to buy a tractor, we're not hiring a landscaper this year and want to do it ourselves,'" Machaud says.

The store has not only seen an increase in tool sales, but has also seen a larger attendance at "Do It Yourself" clinics.

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