What’s a remodel really like in the middle of a pandemic?
For months we’ve continued doing what we do best; designing and building. Case is considered an essential business so when a lot of industries closed their doors we kept going, but we had to change HOW we were doing things. All of a sudden, we were wearing masks and gloves. Taking temperatures. Strict guidelines were in our inboxes and posted at jobsites. Protective measures seemed to grow daily. People’s health depends upon our diligence and we’re taking this very seriously.
Delivering high quality projects is nothing new, but doing it during a pandemic is. I know how all this change affected us, but I started to wonder how our clients felt as they opened their doors and let us in to start a project. So, I asked.
We were in the middle of planning Breeana and Justin’s kitchen remodel when the pandemic hit. After several in-person meetings, we finalized their selections and contract virtually. Their project was put on the schedule to begin in May. As some projects were put on hold due to uncertain times, Breeana and Justin moved forward with their scheduled remodel. We’re in the substantial completion phase now.
You were able to meet with us in person and virtually, do you feel like there was any advantage/disadvantage to either method? Were there any meetings that you feel NEED to be in person vs. virtually?
When we first realized in-person meetings would need to transition to virtual ones, I was worried about potential downsides—especially that it might make visualizing the project more challenging. However, our designers did a great job of sharing drawings and documents in a way that was nearly as good as seeing them in person. And it turned out virtual meetings had some definite upsides as well. Justin’s job isn’t particularly flexible, and he can’t often leave work during the day, so once we’d decided on a design, a budget, and materials, we’d planned for me to handle everything else on my own. But, once we moved online, the design team was able to schedule meetings at times that allowed Justin to join from work, so he was able to be more involved in the process than he would have been otherwise. I am glad that our initial materials meeting happened in the office, though. Nothing quite replaces seeing samples in person!
What was your reason for feeling comfortable moving forward with your project during a pandemic?
After our team at Case described the safety measures they planned to implement, we felt very comfortable moving forward with our project. The team worked in a way that allowed for social distancing, kept the work area partitioned off from the rest of our living space, and implemented protective measures like sanitizing commonly touched surfaces each day before leaving. At no point did I feel our family was at increased risk due to the construction. Plus, the huge upside to moving forward with the project during quarantine was that it gave us something concrete to look forward to at a time when all other plans were put on hold. It was so fun to watch the kitchen slowly come to life when our days felt pretty monotonous in every other way. It made a difficult time a bit more exciting.
What concerns did you have going into the remodel?
We’d never tackled a remodeling project this large before, and I was really worried after saving so long and spending so much, the cost wouldn’t justify the result. But I’m happy to say the kitchen is stunning—even better than I’d imagined—and we have no regrets.
What was the worst and best day of this whole process?
The worst day was when the electrician discovered some safety issues with the electrical from a DIY project completed by the previous homeowner. The problems were dangerous to leave and expensive to fix. It’s never fun to have to spend more than planned especially on something hidden behind the walls and beneath the floors. However, the team did a great job making sure all the work was corrected and the electrical was safe. Having the peace of mind was definitely worth the extra expense. The best day of the project was when the countertops were installed, and we could finally start to see everything coming together.
Did the project turn out any differently than you’d imagined?
I’ve always had trouble visualizing things from 2D drawings, so even though I was confident in our design team and the materials we chose, it was hard to picture exactly what the kitchen would look like when it was all finished. But as everything came together, it was exactly what I wanted and I’m so happy with the results.
What protective measure stood out the most to you?
I’m not sure any one thing stood out as much as the sense that everyone was being especially careful. The work area was walled off from the rest of the living spaces, no one entered our home without a mask, and they sanitized each day before leaving. The entire team lived up to the safety commitments they promised when we signed the contract.
Do you feel that ALL of our workers followed careful sanitation guidelines?
Yes! In fact, despite some of the workers being in our home on a regular basis, and us knowing their names, voices, and vehicles, I’m not sure we’d recognize them without a mask.
We’re truly grateful for the trust given to us everyday by homeowners and even more so in today’s world.
To learn more about Our Response to the Coronavirus, please click here.