In 21 days, 101 recorded U.S. cases of COVID-19 ballooned to more than 33,000. Streets are empty, businesses are closed. People can’t go to work, or congregate too closely. One in five Americans have been ordered to stay home, according to reporting from The New York Times. Goldman Sachs projects the country’s GDP will drop 24% next quarter as a result. That would be the worst GDP drop in U.S. history, by a lot.
The outbreak’s impact on everyday normalcy in the U.S. is unprecedented, as is it’s impact on the remodeling industry. There’s no guide for how to navigate a remodeling business through a global pandemic the scale that we’re experiencing. With that in mind, we’ve reached out to a number of remodelers and industry organizations to get a better understanding of how COVID-19 has impacted their markets and how they’re responding as a result.
We will be publishing their responses in a series of posts that will extend the length of the crisis, however long that proves to be.
Irons Brothers Construction
Responses from Joseph Irons, president and general manager of Irons Brothers Construction, and Melissa Irons, its showroom and operations manager.
How has COVID-19 impacted your area and business?
Since early March, our community and state has implemented increasingly aggressive measures to combat the spread of the virus, including the closure of its building department (though inspections are still be conducted). As it is currently, schools are closed, as are all restaurants and hair and nail salons; and public and private gatherings of more than 10 people have been banned. COVID-19 has understandably made homeowners nervous.
How has Irons Brothers Construction responded to the impacts?
Our priority has been reassuring our clients and staff that are safety is our first and foremost concern. To that, we’ve emailed all scheduled appointments into early April, as well as our staff and all trade and design partners (with scheduled meetings onsite at our current projects and/or design clients’ homes), to let them know we are following the recommended health and safety precautions and procedures.
To our own staff, we’ve additionally requested they review local Public Health Department guidelines and distributed information to let them know what actions to take in the event that they exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, including self-quarantining. We also distributed safety equipment to our production team, including gloves, disinfectant, spray bottles, hand sanitizer, and more. For our office and jobsite, we’ve put together a document (pictured right) with entry procedures, which we’ve also shared with our local industry associations as a resource. We are expecting Shoreline to impose more stricter shelter-in-place rules for residents, and so are currently drafting a protocols for our how to handle this eventuality.