What does the Shelter-in-Place mean for residential construction?
Updated: Apr 8, 2020
These are scary times for American companies, families, and individuals. Stay-at-Home orders, closed businesses, and social-distancing cause chaos and confusion to even the most well-informed citizens. Breaking news, data, maps, and statistics create information overload which results in more unanswered questions. So, we get it? We should stay at home and only “essential services” are permitted under the order...right?
What do these Orders mean?
Stay-at-Home and Shelter-in-Place Orders have taken effect in many parts of the country and essentially mean the same thing. While residents are not required to physically remain in their homes at all times, they are expected to leave the home only for exercise or “essential services” including medical care facilities, groceries, pharmacies, banks, or laundry services. Residents should also not go to work unless their business is deemed “essential.” What this means for the construction and renovation industry can be confusing.
If you have started a construction project that is incomplete, what do the Shelter-at-Home Order and “essential services” mean for you?
Projects that are already in the works that require the services of plumbers, electricians, and other service providers may be able to complete their work. According to the California Coronaviris (COVID-19) Website, California’s official government website, workers who provide “services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, construction material sources, and essential operation of construction sites and construction projects” may be considered essential. The City of Novato further defines essential construction activities as “continuation to completion of all residential construction projects that are partially completed in order to ensure health and safety.” If your incomplete project may endanger your health and safety during the Stay-at-Home Order, contact your contractor. If your needs are deemed essential, be prepared for social distancing and other demands to protect all parties involved, but you might be able to complete the project.
What about residential projects that have not yet begun?
Residential projects that have not yet begun are unlikely to be considered essential or deemed necessary. Local municipalities are limiting services and will not issue new building permits for construction activities that are deemed non-essential. You are likely thinking, “What? All this time off, and I can’t begin my project?” But there is some good news if you are considering a renovation. Most renovation projects require significant planning, and with all this time on your hands, maybe you can start phase one of your plan - project design.
Planning for a kitchen remodel is a time-consuming process. The design process requires measurements, changes, and approvals, and many materials can take several weeks to arrive. Although you may not be able to start your project until the Shelter-in-Place is lifted, it is a perfect time to start planning it. C3 Cabinetry is available for virtual design consultations for local projects during this challenging but necessary order. If you are interested in starting your virtual design consultation, contact C3 Cabinetry today.