Here is a Q&A-style article in today’s Washington Business Journal AM e-newsletter, addressing whether or not to postpone home renovations during the coronavirus crisis.
Ask an expert: ‘Should I postpone renovations?’ ‘What happens to construction?’ Your coronavirus questions, answered.
In an effort to help readers with their questions surrounding COVID-19, the Washington Business Journal has gathered a group of D.C.-area business leaders and experts willing to help our readers figure out their next steps.
This is an evolving situation, with guidelines changing often. For the latest coverage on closings, stock prices, business impact and more, click here.
Q. Should I postpone scheduled renovation work on my home since several workmen will be in and out over a two- to three-week period? — J. Fred Griffith
A. This one may come down to personal choice. Current advice states to practice social distancing wherever possible, with people maintaining at least 6 feet of distance. “The first thing is to remember the CDC guidelines to stay away if you are ill, wash your hands frequently and cover all coughs and sneezes,” says Dr. Hugh Mighty, dean of the Howard University College of Medicine. “There is no way to guarantee that we will not expose each other to the virus except for absolute isolation. On the other hand, if we can have assurance among each other about practicing good hygiene, then limiting the size of group gatherings and applying the 6-foot rule may be reasonable.” Mighty warns, however, to be especially careful if there seniors in the home or people with underlying health conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes.
Q. How are construction companies and other companies whose operations can’t be done virtually coping with COVID-19? — Beth Davis
A. Adaptation seems to be happening in many industries, and construction is no exception. For now, Lisa Mallory of the D.C. Building Industry Association, notes that the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs is open, meaning business licenses and permits are still being issued and allowing construction to continue at the discretion of contractors and other companies.
Barry Madani of Madison Investments told me that, as of Sunday, their construction job sites had not been affected. “We have and continue to ask that all contractors and personnel follow CDC guidelines to ensure that we maintain a safe working environment. All in-person meetings have been changed to virtual,” Madani said. He and others are staying connected to the DCBIA and other leaders in the region through emails and group chats to support and share information with one another.