With all that has happened since beginning of March, we thought it would be a good time to give an overall update on what our business is doing and how the COVID-19 pandemic. Coronavirus has changed the landscape for a construction company like Reliance. We’ve been in business over 15 years. For the first time we find ourselves in circumstances where continuing work as usual presents a challenge to the health and safety of our team and clients. We have never backed away from a challenge and now we have implemented new measures to help us through these difficult times.
On Monday March 23rd as the first order of Stay Home Safe was passed by governor Newsom, we had to contact our clients and schedule last minute job site meetings to update everyone on the immediate changes necessary. It was a challenging moment for us and our clients but with the possibility of a deadly virus lurking around, we had to plan for the safety of everyone involved in our work. We had to monitor operations more closely and limit interactions on each job sites immediately. In order to accommodate this, we had to stretch our job schedules and ensure that no enclosed space would have more than 3-5 people actively working at any one time. While these procedures caused some obvious delays, we did our best to communicate with our clients and our team alike and keep the wheels turning. We also ensured all job sites had access to plenty of running water, soap, and wash station immediately.
In the weeks that followed, we all understood the scope of the pandemic and adapted daily. With pending projects in the permit approval process at the City of Los Angeles and Culver City Department of Building and Safety, we had to ensure our permits were still in process and moving forward. A phone call to the planning department let us know that things are up and running but with certain delays and new measures. Neither departments are allowing face to face interactions with plan examiners and over the counter permits are no longer an option. All plans and applications are dropped off at the front door and communication is solely through emails or phone calls. This is certainly delaying the planning and permitting process but the good news is that they are still working and permits are being issued.
Check out our post from the Los Angeles Building Department drop-off on our Instagram Page at https://www.instagram.com/reliancedesignbuild/
As we get closer to the re-opening of offices we continue to:
Our team of architects and interior designers are working from home and our contractors are still at job sites pushing forward with limited employees working at any one time. We are following all social distancing measures, ensuring everyone has face coverings and keeping our hands, tools and work spaces clean and safe. Our current addition and ADU in Culver City is in its final stages of punch-out. Our other projects in Mar Vista and Los Angeles are also moving forward with limited number of tradesmen working daily. These projects are unoccupied which allow us to minimize one-on-one interactions between our job site team and our clients. Clients see daily log of job site activities and photos posted by job site manger via Basecamp. However, we still hold weekly client meeting to keep them updated on our progress. In short, we are doing all we can to move forward without compromising the health and safety of those working for us and our clients. We are happy to report that to date, we have seen no signs of COVID-19 amongst our team members.
As always, the construction industry is dependent on the real estate market, financing and state of economy. As we clearly experience these challenging times, we must consider the effects on the state of our industry too. Number of job losses are at an all time high and indications of a recession are everywhere we look. With that said, this time around we as a nation seem to be dealing with something much different than the 2008 collapse of the financial sector. Our markets are showing better resilience. Home prices continue to rise and consumer confidence is still high. The for sale inventory is short of demand in most parts of the country. Interest rates are very low which means we can still borrow and refinance in order to access funds needed for the next home improvement project. What truly lies ahead is unknown for the best of economists but we know that most markets are not responding the same as they did in last recession. The construction industry seems to be holding steady and we are happy to provide our services.
Take a look at some very helpful articles about the Coronavirus and the real estate market here: https://www.redfin.com/guides/coronavirus-real-estate?utm_source=Iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=1022236
You might ask: what should I do about my next project? Well, the answer is not that complicated. We say: Start Planning!
We are here with an abundance of time to help you plan your next project. Our services are not just about building and construction. Design, Architecture, Engineering, Budget and Planning are the most underrated aspects of the residential construction industry. Only TV home renovations happen within a one hour episode. The reality of home remodeling, construction, or addition involves a lot more planning. We typically start design and planning about 3-6 months prior to breaking ground on remodels, additions or new builds. Depending on the scale of the project, the planning process could take up to 12 months. This time differs by size and scale of project as remodeling a kitchen needs less planning than a new construction. Regardless of the size of your project, it’s always best to plan ahead. Well planned home projects are always less costly, more time efficient. Therefore; they result in a better final product which is why we always encourage our clients to start this process early.
If you have a home project in mind, we are here for you. Like many other business, we are taking advantage of the digital possibilities out there to help us do our business as efficiently as possible. We are using video tours to help our clients show us the spaces they are trying to remodel. Online tools in mapping, GIS and real estate listings are helping us in doing most of our work remotely. We look forward to helping you with your next project. Fill out our online contact form and we’ll be in touch to discuss your questions. Click here: https://www.reliancedesignbuild.com/contact-us/
We are all in this together and together we will put these tough times behind us.
Your Reliance Team,