Page 31 - BusinessWest January 20, 2021
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     Andy Crane says he wants to present a home show this year, but only if he can do so safely.
president of Laplante Construction. “We had projects with critical work that needed to be completed so people, in some cases, could get back into their homes.”
The builders who spoke with BusinessWest all construct new houses as well as additions and renovations to existing homes. On balance, they
say, renovations and additions account for more business than new home construction.
“Most of the calls we get are from people who want to stay where they are, so many of them are looking to build additions or do a renovation,” said A.J. Crane, partner at A. Crane Construction.
Of course, staying put became nearly uni- versal as COVID-19 mandates resulted in many people working from home. Even those who con- tinued to work at their place of business found themselves at home more often because so many
recreational activities and destinations had been curtailed or shut down.
And that posed opportunity for builders. As Laplante observed, the more time people spend at home, the more looking around they do. “They start thinking about adding a room or renovat- ing part of the house to make their space more comfortable.”
“We had to postpone jobs like kitchen renovations where people were still trying to live in the space we were working on.”
In the age of COVID, that means builders must approach job sites differently than in the past. For starters, more people — both adults and children — are likely to be at home while the work is getting done. While workers follow screening protocols before going into the home and wear PPE once there, Laplante instructs his crews to isolate the work area from the residents as much as possible. That’s easy to do for addi- tions and outside renovations, but some work is just more intrusive.
“We had to postpone jobs like kitchen renova- tions where people were still trying to live in the space we were working on,” he said, adding that other projects were pushed off because custom- ers were simply not yet comfortable with outside workers in their homes during the pandemic.
But enough homeowners were OK with their
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