Yes! You Can Do Home Renovations during COVID-19
It’s legal, it’s safe, and it may be the perfect opportunity
How is COVID19 affecting the construction industry?
You may have heard that the construction industry is taking a hit from the COVID19 pandemic. But while it’s true that it’s been a challenging few months, construction is still happening all over the U.S.
Yes, most states have limited work activities during “shelter in place” or “stay at home” orders. But more than half the states classified construction work as “essential businesses.” (see below)
That includes DC, Maryland, and Virginia, where construction work is allowed, and home remodeling can continue. Here at Touchstone, we’re fortunate that we’ve been working throughout the pandemic.
And as the states open up further, home renovations will only increase.
But. . . is it safe?
Even if construction is legal, many homeowners are justifiably concerned about bringing workers into their homes.
We get that. These days, when we’re on a job, we put safety measures in place to protect our clients’ families just as we would protect our own.
It starts with compliance with government regulations. Both the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) published safety guidelines for the construction industry.
As home remodeling contractors (as opposed to, say, Giant or Safeway), we’re not interacting with the general public. We’re considered a low-risk category, with only limited safety restrictions.
“We’re going above and beyond,” explains Katherine Schea, our office manager. That includes:
– Social distancing
– Frequent hand washing and sanitizing
And if a client is particularly concerned or at risk, Touchstone could amp up our social distancing and hygiene further with protective environments.
“If possible,” says Touchstone owner Ben Srigley, “we encapsulate the work zone with plastic barrier walls and zippers. We ingress and egress from that enclosed space with gloved hands. We try to segment our work zone from the home whenever possible.”
How can you think about renovations at a time like this?
Not only is home remodeling safe and legal, but right now may be a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY for homeowners:
1) Contractors are less busy than usual and can get started on your projects quickly.
2) Low interest rates can help make the project economically feasible.
3) If you start planning now, work on your project will begin in early summer, as the COVID19 rules are likely to relax further.
The Federal Reserve is taking unprecedented measures to help [the U.S. economy] survive the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. It lowers interest rates when the country is facing a recession because it encourages borrowing and spending, which stimulate the economy. – Forbes.com
On the other hand, if you wait a month or two, you may be caught in the crunch of all the other homeowners who put off their projects.
COVID19 home renovations
You might be particularly interested in projects that can help you navigate our new normal.
Think about how you could better navigate staying safe while working and learning from home:
– Add a work or play space for children
– Create a staging area for packages
– Soundproof a room to keep your work distraction-free
– Add more space by finishing a basement or attic or adding a bathroom or bedroom
– For families with an at-risk member (like an elderly parent or non-quarantined renter), build a safe zone. One example would be segmenting a basement to create an area with its own entrance, HVAC, and filtration system.
Imagine having a work meeting where your family ISN’T making guest appearances!