‘Struggling’ builder hopes to go back to work

Coronavirus

PARK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The building industry is hoping that it’s included in the next round of lifted restrictions imposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay at home order.

News 8 spoke to a home builder in Holland who is hoping to hear in the next few weeks that he can get back to work.

“We’re ready,” said Drew Demeester, owner of Troxel Custom Homes. 

Once construction can restart, home builders say their sites will look different.

Demeester says he has plans to have handwashing stations and separate tools for each employee. Gloves will be required for every aspect of the job, including tile and fewer people at each site.

“Literally, the drywall got done and we are out of here,” said Demeester about a home in Park Township that is now at a standstill.

Demeester says crews were given a few hours notice to stop work. It has been almost two months since then.

“It’s been frustrating being a home builder over the past few months,” he said. “We are struggling to continue to be a business.”

The market crash 10 years ago prepared the company to save up for times like this.

That has allowed Demeester to keep everyone employed so far. But the longer construction is shut down, the harder that becomes.

He is using the free time to put a plan in place for when construction can start back up like making sure he has enough personal protection equipment and tools for everyone to have their own set instead of sharing.

It’s those details that will keep everyone safe and working.

“As a builder, it’s going to be important for us to put procedures in place to make sure those workers do feel safe to come back on our job site,” he said.

Demeester says his company is still selling and signing contracts for new homes to be built. But he can’t give customers a start date until he gets the green light from the governor’s office.

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