After spending more time than usual around your home this past year, you’ve likely noticed some things that you want to change, like a cramped kitchen or outdated master bathroom. However, COVID-19 is still a valid concern any time a new person enters your home. And with a remodeling project like the kitchen or bathroom, there’s really no way around having a contractor’s team inside your home. But there are precautions that you can take and things that you can require of your contractor to keep you and your family as safe as possible while work is being done in your home.
1. Ensure Safe Hygiene and Personal Protective Equipment Use
Per Maryland’s regulations and following CDC guidelines, both you and your contractor should wear a face mask during all interactions. It’s also a good idea to request that people entering your home wear new disposable gloves and shoe covers. Everyone who comes into your home should sanitize their hands upon entering and exiting. The contractor and/or tradespeople should have hand sanitizer, but it’s a great idea to have a bottle on hand at your front door as well.
Before you sign a contract for work to begin, you can also ask about the safety practices employees follow at the contractor’s office. While it’s likely that most of the tradespeople working on your kitchen or bathroom haven’t been indoors at the office, the consultant, project manager, and designers may have. As the guidelines from the CDC have evolved throughout the pandemic, it’s your contractor’s responsibility to know them and ensure employees follow the most current regulations.
2. Limit Exposure Inside
The tough thing about remodeling your home is that the majority of the work happens inside. However, you can plan ahead and limit the movement of the contractor’s team throughout your home.
The remodeling consultant, their crew, and subcontractors should all stay at least 6 feet away from you at all times. But as they are working inside your home, it can take some planning to keep everyone socially distanced. Your primary contact from the remodeling company, usually a consultant or project manager, should keep you updated on what days and times that work will take place. Knowing when to expect workers in your home will help you plan around them, so you can stay in different areas of the house while they work.
If you are comfortable with the remodeling crew using your bathroom, you can prepare by having a pathway cleared to the closest bathroom to the work area, so the team does not need to touch anything, like opening doors. The crew should always follow the CDC guidelines to wash their hands. However, you can also supply sanitizing spray and wipes along with soap and hand sanitizer in your bathroom.
3. Require Isolation
Your contractor should follow the most recent CDC guidelines, ensuring that any employee who shows symptoms of coronavirus or has been identified as a close contact to someone testing positive will isolate for the required time period before they return to work. Additionally, your contractor should require that any employee traveling outside of your area follows the public health guidance for isolation before working in your home.
Similarly, if anyone in your house shows symptoms or has potentially been exposed to coronavirus, you should delay the work on your home – no matter what stage your remodel is in. And if you are planning to travel, plan ahead and book any appointments or work at least two weeks after your trip. Remember, construction employees go home to their families each night, and they should feel safe on the job, so taking reasonable steps is appreciated, even if it sometimes feels unnecessary.
4. Choose the Right Contractor
Before hiring a contractor for any project around your home, do some research, and read online reviews to ensure they are trustworthy and reliable. That way, you can feel comfortable with the team you are inviting into your home. It is completely appropriate to ask about your contractor’s safety plans around COVID-19, and in fact, you should make sure that they have set precautions in place that everyone in their company follows.
From the beginning of the pandemic, Brothers has implemented an industry-leading hygiene plan. We follow all the precautions mentioned above and additionally we have employees who primarily work from home to significantly limit the number of people in our offices. We understand that this is an uncertain and concerning time for many families. Our guiding principle has always been to treat each customer’s home as if it were our own, so we are committed to helping your keep your home clean, safe, and beautiful.
If you have a remodeling project that you need help with, schedule a consultation with one of our remodeling experts to get started.