Construction adds safety precautions as work resumes

Coronavirus

ORANGEVILLE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan construction and real estate businesses were allowed to resume work Thursday with new health safety precautions in place.

“Today is huge for everybody that was in design and wanting to move forward and the people that we had already started with,” Troy Freed, the owner of Wausau Homes Kalamazoo and Building Dreams Construction, told News 8.

He said the industry is making significant changes to help prevent workers from contracting COVID-19.

“We’ve brought in everything that they need to be safe,” he said.

Crews are wearing masks when closer than 6 feet from one another, wearing gloves, social distancing and sanitizing shared equipment. Freed said builders are also trying to limit the number of people on job sites.

Chris Mendles, the president of Metzger’s Heating and Cooling, said that while his industry has been allowed to work, it was greatly limited by the stay-at-home order.

“The order for us being essential was limited to emergency situations only,” Mendles said. “The weeks that we were off, our company replaced half a dozen failed furnaces and water heaters that had gone to leaking in people’s basements.”

The real estate industry is also making changes in an effort to protect employees and homebuyers.

Julie Reisner, a realtor with Five Star Real Estate Leaders, said she is following new guidelines, which include social distancing and wearing masks when looking at homes.

“No more than four people in a house at any time and that includes me,” Reisner said.

She added that open houses are not taking place.

“The other big one is only showing to preapproved, prequalified or people who are able to show proof of funds to purchase a home,” Reisner said.

With home sales and construction moving forward, the industries are hopeful the demand will continue but it remains unclear if the economic crisis caused by coronavirus will have a long-term impact on growth.


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