How to Plan for Contractor Timelines During COVID
How do you plan for a home renovation project during a pandemic? Can you safely have contractors in your home? How will COVID-19 affect contractor and product delivery timelines? Those are all valid questions homeowners with renovation plans should be asking. These issues are especially important when so many of us are working remotely or spending much more time at home. Masks and social distancing will be with us for quite a while longer. Kitchen and bath renovation projects are certainly possible today, but you will need to plan ahead and expect delays.
Home remodeling projects are on the rise and contractors are busier than ever. However, the pandemic and recent natural disasters in 2020 have contributed to a backlog of construction materials such as lumber, and an increased awareness of keeping workers safe and healthy. If a contractor or crew comes down with COVID-19 symptoms, operations could shut down until workers return after quarantine with negative test results.
For a kitchen remodel, or even if you’re just in need of a plumber or HVAC tech for a quick fix, contractors will need to enter your home. Here are a few things to consider.
Patience! There Will Be Delays
Expect delays and plan ahead for them. All aspects of your project will most likely be delayed, so you need to be prepared for that up front. Due to supply chain and labor issues, everything from product and materials to the delivery timeline has slowed down. This affects the delivery timeline of your kitchen cabinets as well.
Homeowners who planned or started a project before COVID-19 should triple their original contractor timeline. Supply chain bottlenecks and workers with flu-like symptoms could add an additional one to two months to your project’s completion.
Before beginning a project, you should ask your contractors what precautions they’re taking in light of the pandemic. Talk to your contractors and ask if they are using virtual workarounds for providing estimates, quotes, and design work. A video call could help avoid at least one unnecessary trip inside your house.
Follow CDC Guidelines
Masks – Social Distancing – Handwashing
Both you and your contractors should be following CDC guidelines. This includes wearing masks, staying six feet away from others, and washing your hands frequently.
Make hand sanitizer available at entry points to your house. Avoid using any common areas but provide workers access to bathrooms and sinks. Regularly clean and disinfect high-contact surfaces and spaces. Anyone who lives in your house should wear a mask if they could possibly be in the same room with the contractor at any point.
Cleanliness and Communication
Your contractor may request assurance from you that they are entering a safe work environment. Be prepared to share with them your own protocols for cleanliness. Above all, respect the contractors coming into your home and try to keep them safe.
If a worker is sick they shouldn’t be in your home. Alternately, if someone living in your house is sick, the contractors should not be allowed inside. This bears repeating: Under no circumstances should a contractor or their subcontractors enter a house if there are sick persons in the house or if any of the workers are showing symptoms.
Give Contractors Plenty of Space and Time
If you’re working from home, keep your distance. Give your contractor space to do the job at hand — don’t hover! Try to stay as far away from them as possible within your home. It’s very important to not be in the same room for long periods of time.
Make sure your home is well ventilated. In winter or summer, if at all possible, some windows should be left open for fresh air circulation.
Kitchen and bath remodeling projects are definitely still happening, but from planning through completion, homeowners need to allow more time than usual. COVID-19 has affected all aspects of home improvement, especially the timeframe, so it is your number one priority to plan ahead. This is the new reality for the foreseeable future.
If you have a renovation or remodel project in mind and you’re apprehensive about it, please feel free to contact us. We’re here to help! Or if you simply want to start a free no-obligation design consultation, reach out to one of our professional kitchen designers.