As I sit down to write my annual list of resolutions for contractors, I am amazed at how much things changed in 2020. Construction was going well and then, in March 2020, COVID-19 hit. At first, we thought it was going to be a disaster for the construction industry. States, cities and towns shut down projects and many applied for PPP loans. Then, something amazing happened. Construction was considered an essential service and everyone was back to work.  That said, the work world changed: companies were donating their PPE to frontline workers, COVID-19 protocols had to be followed and paperwork had to be filed. Everyone was scrambling to figure out how to comply and keep their businesses going. So, you may or may not ask, what was I, as a construction lawyer doing? I spent March and April thinking about the new risks contractors/construction companies were facing and developing contract clauses to protect the industry. I wrote a number of blog posts with clauses to add to your contra

A Good Time to Start a Home Renovation

I imagine that some of you will say it's crazy to start a home renovation project in this economy. However, there are many reasons to consider doing one now, and here are a few:

1. Contractors are no longer busy. The days are gone when contractors could afford to disappear from your project because they were working on others. It is in their best interest to do a good job and keep the homeowner happy. Now, more than ever.

2. The bad contractors are closing shop. I know so many contractors who are going out of business. This is very sad, but it is also serving to retain the good ones who have treated their clients well and maintained a good reputation. It is more likely that someone who has stayed in business is a "good" contractor. In my mind, that means there is a greater likelihood of a successful renovation project.

3. You will get a fair price. See #1 above.

4. The homeowner might have more time to devote to the project. My work is not as busy, and most people I know have more time for other things. It is better if the homeowners can pay attention (not micro-manage!) their project.

5. Mortgage rates are low. I am looking into refinancing. It might be a good time to refinance and take some money out to do a renovation.

6. There are sales on everything. You can probably negotiate for better pricing for materials since everything is on sale these days and everyone is hurting.

7. Think green. The options for green building just keep increasing. Educate yourself and choose construction methods and materials that will help the environment and reduce costs down the road.

8. Do your bit for the economy. If you can afford it, why not try to give people work?

9. Increase the value of your real estate. This is always a good reason to renovate, as long as you do not greatly exceed comparable values on your street. Speak to a real estate broker about how to add value to your home.

6. There is no time like the present. I know people who have put off renovations for so long that they lost out on the opportunity to enjoy them. If you can afford it, why not do it know? Kids grow up pretty quickly and then leave home, so give your family the benefit of that family room now.

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