Can Home Improvements Continue Safely During COVID-19 Orders?

March 27, 2020

In order not to overwhelm our healthcare system and reduce the spread, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many of the ways we all go about everyday life. Amidst the recent “stay at home” or “shelter in place” orders released by state and local governments across the nation, many homeowners are wondering what this means for their current or future home improvement projects, particularly if those projects are urgent.

So what does that mean if you were planning a home improvement project or needing an urgent home improvement during this time? Since many of the home upgrades services provided by the home construction industry still qualify as critical infrastructure or as an exemption as of March 27, 2020*, contractors may continue to complete the energy efficiency and safety upgrades that homeowners need while following health and safety best practices.

Please note that as of 3/31/2020, residential and commercial construction restrictions do apply in the following California counties: Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, and San Francisco; click here for more information.

Home Construction As Essential Critical Infrastructure

On March 19, 2020, in an effort to curb the rapid spread of the virus, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued executive order N-33-20. This order shuts down any non-essential businesses and directs Californians to stay at home as much as possible. 

Essential businesses are defined as “needed to maintain continuity of operations of essential critical infrastructure sectors and additional sectors as the State Public Health Officer may designate as critical to protecting the health and well-being of all Californians.” This includes housing construction operations.

Presently in Florida, several counties and cities including Miami and Gainesville have also issued similar orders, and Governor Ron DeSantis enacted executive actions (particularly in Broward and Palm Beach counties) to shut down beaches along with movie theatres, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys, arcades, gymnasiums, and fitness studio.

Social Distancing and Safe Home Upgrade Measures

As construction remains an essential service as of March 25, 2020, homeowners in both Florida and California can continue to safely move forward with their home improvement plans while ensuring that the health and safety of all is a top priority.  

Though contractors should have strict sanitization and self-quarantine procedures in place, it is a good idea to clean any and all potentially touched surfaces both before and after any contact, in accordance with the recommendations outlined by the Centers for Disease Control.

While any work or related inspections are being completed on your home, contractors and homeowners should take the necessary health and safety precautions, including:

  • Practicing social distancing techniques
  • Reducing person-to-person contact
  • Avoiding contact or exposure with those in self-quarantine or isolation or feeling unwell particularly after traveling
  • Following the best practice guidance on sanitation and cleaning.

Upgrade to a More Energy Efficient and Healthier Home

With these shelter in place and stay at home orders are in effect making Americans spend more time and work from home, you may be thinking about how you can make your home a safer, healthier, and more efficient place to live. PACE financing offers homeowners 0% down and access to 100% of the upfront costs of their home improvements, with fixed low-interest rates, repayment terms up to 30 years, and no prepayment penalties. 

Qualifying PACE home improvements include:

Contact a Renew Financial Representative to obtain a complete list of qualifying projects in Florida and California.

Unlike traditional financing that is attached to an individual, PACE is attached to a property, and the cost of these improvements are paid back as an additional line item on your annual or bi-annual property taxes. PACE also comes with built-in customer protections to ensure you understand the full scope of your project, as well as preventing unsatisfactory contractor work.

Want to learn more about how to utilize PACE financing for your home upgrades? Call Renew Financial today at 844-736-3934.

*Note: This information is current as of the publication date, subject to change, and recommending readers check with their local authorities before relying on anything in this post.