It’s a difficult time and it doesn’t look like COVID-19 concerns and restrictions are going to let up any time soon. The good news is, home building and home renovations are continuing throughout White Rock and the entire lower mainland. And at Alair Homes, we are working hard to ensure that our staff, our trades, and our clients, are kept safe while still carrying on with business, building and renovating during COVID.
Renovating during COVID: Steps we’re taking to keep sites, workers and clients safe
Here are a few of the steps we have taken to ensure on-site safety on all our new builds and renovations during COVID:
- Portable potties and hand-washing stations are now mandatory on all sites, regardless of the size of the project. We ensure that our trades and workers have a separate washroom facility, washing stations, and plenty of hand sanitizer. This is not just for their own safety, but to protect clients, ensuring we minimize contact and limit trades coming into any shared space.
- In order to follow social distancing rules, we have limited the number of trades working on-site at any time.
- We have posted signage on all of our sites regarding COVID safety rules both outside the property and throughout the workspace.
- We have increased communication with trades, educating them about COVID safety. We speak with them on a regular basis to gauge their own comfort levels and to hear any concerns they may have.
The impact of COVID-19 on building and renovations
One of the biggest impacts on home renovations in White Rock is that things are taking longer. Permit wait times have doubled in White Rock, Surrey, and in some parts of the entire lower mainland. It can also take longer to deal with inspections and to file all the necessary paperwork.
We are working hard to meet these challenges. We are pre-ordering all long-lead items, though delays still occur. (Anyone who’s ordered anything online during this time can attest to how much longer shipments and deliveries are taking!) We are also allocating additional time to project management and administrative duties.
All of this combined – the extra safety precautions, having fewer trades on site, material availability, and permitting delays – means projects are taking longer to complete. But we are apprising clients of any delays and we are continually working to find solutions and ways to speed things up.
When to start your renovation or build
So, should you start on a new project now? Yes! It actually is the perfect time to start on your new home build or renovation. In fact, due to permit, administrative, and inspections delays, the sooner the better!
At Alair Homes, we are huge advocates of planning. We are recommending that homeowners start the planning process earlier than ever in order to take all the potential delays and protocols into account. We want to ensure that once the renovation or build begins, it runs as smoothly as possible.
What we’ve learned from building and renovating during COVID-19
Despite all of these changes, we can say that this whole experience has made us become better communicators and ultimately, better builders. Many of the changes that we’ve implemented due to COVID-19 are here to stay. That includes portable potties on all job sites, an increase in safety meetings, and increased communication with our clients. We’re also now in the habit of pre-ordering long lead items to expedite the build or renovation.
Through adversity comes growth. No matter what’s happening in the world, there’s always an opportunity to better ourselves. We are continually finding new and improved ways to conduct business, allowing us to create the best possible experience for our clients. And yes, build them their dream home at a time when home is more important and meaningful than ever.