How the Coronavirus Is Affecting Design and Remodeling Pros

March 21, 2020

Pros are seeing changes in their businesses as clients are affected by work and school closures.

 

With the coronavirus news changing rapidly every day, we reached out to pros late last week and again early this week to find out whether the pandemic was affecting their businesses — and if so, how. Read on to see what they said. Then please weigh in about your own experiences with COVID-19 in the Comments.

Z & Co. Design Group

In Some Locations, Businesses Are Shutting Down Work on Projects 

While the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. and Canada is quickly rising, as this story was being reported last week, some areas — including Washington state, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area — had been affected much more than others. Last week, pros in North America were taking precautions in the workplace to minimize the spread of the virus but not yet changing their day-to-day business practices. But this week, that had changed for several of the pros we spoke with. 

“Yes — [we] laid off three [people] and closed two jobs,” Bill Kalin of Kalin Construction in Denver said Monday. “Folks don’t want us in their house.”

In New York City, where Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday afternoon warned residents to prepare for “shelter in place” orders within the next 48 hours, business owner Neila Deen of Urban Casa has already planned to shut down project installations. “[A]ny on-site installation will involve gloves and will cease starting Wed 3/18 until further notice,” she said Tuesday morning. “We are letting our clients know that due to the virus, we might not be able to install their projects in April.”

Designer Sarah Hill of Urban Pioneering Architecture in Brooklyn said Tuesday that her teams were hurrying to complete whatever they could. “Projects that are in full swing are trying to continue for as long as possible,” she said. “Contractors only get paid when they bill for work completed, and sadly many of them cannot afford to stop working, nor can subcontractors who get paid by the day, so most of our contractors who are in mid-project are opting to continue for as long as possible.”

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