(Family Features) Many homeowners still find themselves stuck at home due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With all the extra time spent indoors, some homeowners are re-evaluating the space they occupy and turning to remodelers to help them safely and effectively complete home improvement projects.
After finding a reliable contractor, the way we interact with them is changed drastically. The pandemic has changed the way homeowners and remodelers communicate even before stepping foot on site. Doing as much pre-service consultation as possible over the phone, by video meeting or through email is recommended.
“I’ll have customers take pictures and have them forward me that information to pre-qualify them and see if we’re a fit before I actually go on-site,” said Andy Apter, president of Apter Remodeling/Craftsman. “In today’s environment, people are enthusiastic to provide those photographs. If they want to take the next step then I meet them in person.”
Like any remodeling project, communication between the homeowner and service provider is key.
“Communicate any concerns you may have,” Apter said. “I can’t address concerns if homeowners don’t open up.”
Despite concerns over health and safety, members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) like Apter are equipped to get the job done safely and ethically.
Members pledge to adhere to a strict code of ethics that observes the highest standards of honesty, integrity and responsibility. One code is taking appropriate action to preserve the health and safety of employees, trade contractors and clients.
Once on-site, the remodelers adhere to all safety protocols when entering a home. As with any remodel, portable restrooms are brought on site for the remodeling team. The team also masks up before entering any household. Apter takes it a step further by designating entrance and exit paths for his team to maintain social distancing.
Homeowners can also do their part to maintain a safe work environment for the remodeling team. If you’re working from home, try to set up your workstation in an area other than the one undergoing renovations. It is also important to limit interactions with the remodeling team. In instances where communication is necessary, homeowners should always wear a mask and remain at least two arm lengths away from the contractor.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends maximizing ventilation in the household while service providers are on site, such as opening a window or turning on the air conditioner. The CDC also recommends using touchless payment options or paying over the phone, if possible. After any visit, remember to clean and disinfect any surfaces the remodeling team may have come in contact with.
Despite the precautions both homeowners and the remodeling team take, the timeline and budget of your remodeling project doesn’t have to be affected. Apter said COVID-19 safety measures have not delayed any of his projects.
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