Home remodelers find there is plenty of work now that pandemic restrictions have been eased

Light poured through the empty windows and lit up the exposed wooden beams inside. The home on the lakefront property in Fort Gratiot, Michigan was being remodeled. Almost the entire thing had been gutted and was being prepped for new drywall. Among the new amenities will be a shower with hookups for body jets on the walls in the master bathroom.

The project is just one of many that home remodeling builders are working on since restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic were lifted in May.

 COVID-19 and the associated stay-at-home order had paused all services deemed non-essential, putting a stop to construction projects big and small across Pennsylvania. Now, the projects are back on.

Adaptation across the industry

The original stay-at-home order prohibited construction work except for those related to the safety, sanitation, and basic operations of a home. This left remodelers with some work to do, but there’s not that many emergency calls out there.

“Most of their activity had to come to a standstill,” he said.

During this time, remodelers were able to do some back-end work like ordering materials, speaking with clients, and developing safety plans. But since restrictions relaxed, contractors have had plenty to do.

“You’ve got clients who’ve been living in the house with maybe a partially remodeled bathroom or kitchen.” “You know they’re eager to get that project done.”

Industry exports expect remodeling businesses will operate under some kind of directive from the state until the pandemic is declared over, whether that comes through executive orders, laws passed through the Legislature or revised OSHA regulations. Jobs will likely take a bit longer due to social distancing requirements, which Stoskopf said is likely the most lasting impact.

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