Bay homeowners are splurging on renovations spending up to $1 million gutting their house with some tradies struggling to meet demand.
Overseas travel budgets were also being used to fund projects and experts in the industry say they are ''flat out busy'' as people look to add value to their properties - or remodel outdated kitchens and bathrooms.
One company expected this year could be its biggest ever as people elected to spend money saved for overseas travel on home renovation projects.
Master Plumbers chief executive Greg Wallace said a recent survey of its members showed a 35 to 40 per cent spike in homeowner renovations post-Covid.
''The residential market is still going crazy but renovations, which tends to fly under the radar, has really picked up. We put it down to people being in lockdown and looking at their bathrooms and kitchens and thinking they need updating.
''We can't keep up and our members can't get staff to fulfil the demands.''
It was a great problem to have, Wallace said, but the labour shortage, which was still prevalent in the Bay of Plenty, was a concern.
Master Builders Association Tauranga president Todd Grey said the building industry had come out of Covid busier than ever.
''Everyone I have spoken to is flat out busy.''
He agreed that homeowners were doing more renovations.
''I was talking to a kitchen manufacturer who said in his 12 years of business it had never been busier than what it is at the moment.''
Renew Renovations director Sean Redmond said the renovation market had continually grown over the past few years.
He expected that trend to continue and the company was doing work across the board with projects varying from $5000 to $500,000.
''We can go from a little kitchen or bathroom remodel right through to recladding homes and new windows or bits and pieces. So the renovation market is quite varied.''
Precise Builders owner Dave FitzGibbon said the company did not lose any clients due to Covid and this year was shaping up to be its best yet.
''We are getting a lot of inquiries as people move forward and I think this is going to be our biggest year this year.''
He said travel budgets were going into renovations while some homeowners were spending hundreds of thousands doing ''full-blown renovations''.
The booming property market meant some people had decided to stay put and do up their own homes.
Renovations were expensive but now the value was there in property, he said.
''Materials keep on going up every year and we have to keep on paying so obviously our prices go up but because Tauranga has become a mini Auckland, people can build and renovate and get their return.
''So that is where it has changed a little bit.''
The shortage of land in Tauranga also meant people were buying older houses and ''either bowling them or fixing them up''.
He knew of one homeowner who had spent $1m on a total renovation.
Bunnings New Zealand director Jacqui Coombes said customers were spending more time at home this summer and it was seeing strong demand across some product categories.
''Backyard DIY is particularly popular with a lot of customers looking to create an outdoor living space to enjoy and to entertain in. This includes updating outdoor furniture and barbecues, refurbishing their decks and caring for their gardens.
''Kitchen and bathroom renovations are also popular.''
Meanwhile, data from Stats NZ show nationally furniture, electrical and hardware sales reached $881.6m in November 2020, compared with $740.7m in the same month in 2019.
Rotorua's The Renovators Painters and Decorators office manager Trudy Murray said they were "heavily booked" and were looking at hiring more qualified painters to meet demand.
She said everyone in the industry was busy at the moment and although it was always common to have a spike in summer, Covid had pushed it up a few notches.
Her painters were hearing from clients that they had extra money as a result of being unable to travel and had noticed things that needed to be done while they were stuck at home, she said.
A lot of people were also choosing to get renovations done for their holiday homes, Airbnbs and bed and breakfasts while business was quiet, she said.
"The market is really booming."