Should I do home renovation during Coronavirus Outbreak?

Amidst this Coronavirus Outbreak, a lot of homeowners are pretty confused about whether to reevaluate and reschedule their renovation plans or not. If you’re in the same perplexing situation, you’re not alone. In this surge of outbreak crisis, these fears are quite obvious. The lawmakers are pressing hard to suspend all non-essential construction citywide to prevent further spread of coronavirus. But – good news? Construction in NY is not halted and the industry is pushing back.

As New Yorkers are encouraged to work remotely while the restaurants, bars, and city’s school system are shuttered to curb the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has exempted the construction industry from this new work-from-home mandate.

Construction being the core component of New York City’s economy, suspending it would be a very dangerous proposition as said by Carlo Scissura, the president of the New York Building Congress. There’re a lot of on going essential projects and crucial public works like infrastructure, supporting the house, and homeless shelters that if halted, would even deteriorate the situation further.

Construction experts are actually backing this decision with the fact that the dynamics of construction workspace are pretty different than many other production industries. The construction workers are more spread apart and they are often working much outdoor.

Even if the authorities may decide for construction moratorium, for how long will they be able to impose such restrictions keeping in view its stonyhearted financial impact? Researchers are still trying to figure out: if the coronavirus outbreak will die off in the summer months or not. Some experts and virologists believe that the outbreak may be hindered by hot temperatures and high humidity but the seasonality of this virus is still unclear.

Anyhow, if you’re looking to undertake home renovation during these extraordinary times of coronavirus pandemic, here are the pros and cons for you to consider:

Pros & Cons

The Pro – You got enough time to plan

As the lock-down takes place and you’re still planning to start your renovation project in the future. This is the best time to plan out and start your design phase. You’ve got plenty of time during this uncertain time and you can evaluate each and every bit of work you’d like to include in your scope of work.

You’ll probably need about four to six months on average taking care of all the planning, choosing stuff, and deciding what you want in your renovation venture. So, by the time this situation of a global pandemic may have improved or blown over altogether.

The Con – You’ll have to place orders sooner than later

Now that you’ve got everything on the list including furniture, fixtures, and all equipment you require for your renovation project; it’s the time to place orders. But with coronavirus pandemic already in you may have to face higher costs due to high demand and scarcity of products. A lot of vendors haven’t yet

faced significant disruptions, but now with this developing impact of viruses, lock-downs, and quarantines; you never know how easily the things will go south.

Pros: The project will be completed in less time

If you were already halfway through the renovation until this coronavirus development, chances are, your project will advance faster. All reputable contractors are deploying double resources and more energy to give your project a higher overall pace. At this stage, you don’t have supply chain issues as your fixtures and fittings are already there or may be stored in the warehouse.

And above all, you’ve already decided to go on with your renovation and you don’t have to waste a considerable amount of energy on considering whether you should do it now or hold off.

Cons: The project may cost you more and you may have to face workplace injuries

General contractors may deploy more resources and overwork the labor, thus incurring higher costs to move faster than normal. Besides this, the overworked team will likely to face injuries due to exhaustion. But the construction and real-estate industry are pretty trained overall for tighter scheduled projects. With sufficient workplace hygiene and safety protocols, your project manager can minimize the risk factors.

Another factor to look at is the protection of your site against coronavirus. You may have to bear additional costs to protect yourself and the labor working i.e. to sterilize the areas regularly and do general hygiene measures around workplaces.

Summary

Generally, as a building contractor, I would continue to take on projects in which the property will be vacate to avoid the risk of spreading anything onto surfaces.  Thus far, scientist have stated that the virus can survive on surfaces from 2 to 24 hours depending on the surface.  Thus, as a precautionary step, prime contractors and owners may come to agreement to work every other day which allows for 48 hours to pass, double the upper end of the virus survival rate.  That would mean working three business days a week on a regular permit without any after hour variances.  Though the progress will slow down, it will not shut down the progression.   This construction schedule will provide comfort to clients, employees and sub-contractors; knowing that upper and executive management has safety from this virus at the forefront of their minds and enabling employees and stakeholders to work in a safe manner greatly reduces the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus.

Here at Borough Construction, we encourage individual building contracting firms and clients alike to first attain the relevant scientific and medical information regarding the Coronavirus, COVID-19.  Staying updated on where the world and the U.S. is in terms of combating this global pandemic helps to inform where the light at the end of the tunnel is.  Secondly, know how this virus physically spreads, the survival rate of this virus and how to prevent it from spreading.  When the relative information about this virus is known, cooperate with all stake holders and clients to formalize a schedule that promotes safety first.  To learn more about how Borough Construction can help you on your project during this unprecedented times, please contact us.  We wish you the best on your project during this time.

-Trung Truong

Principal & Project Manager