Simonini Homes’ Solutions to Prevent Construction Slow-Down During the Pandemic
The pandemic that has changed the way we live has also changed the way we do business. While the construction industry has taken a blow, with some firms experiencing canceled projects and much slower timelines, we’ve been fortunate to continue building homes through this year. The Charlotte area’s demand for housing, and new construction homes, is as high as ever. Our team at Simonini was determined to flex with the changes that COVID brought and to find a way to continue to deliver quality homes to our clients.
Dealing with the implications of business restrictions has not been easy -- not only for our own job sites but for the supply partners we work with. The trickle-down effect of restrictions imposed on manufacturers, or their reduced staff due to sickness, affects the timing that we receive building supplies and materials. Our solutions to these construction hurdles are in place now, and we continue to grow and offer the quality we are known for.
Current protection measures can slow down work sites -- with operational restrictions on the number of craftsmen on a job site, and fewer craftsmen available to work, it affects the speed of construction. However, we do not suffer from a lack of skilled workers -- our solution of using our own team of carpenters and tradesmen has been in place for over 20 years and continues to serve our projects well.
We also have had long alliances with local “Trade Partners”, a strong pool of craftsmen we work with that deliver higher quality and are reliable. Those relationships are still in place, allowing us to have the availability of full teams when they are needed.
Smart Supply Scheduling
The most critical element of building a new home is the construction schedule - one task or item relies on the previous task being complete to move through the process. Supply chains and accessibility of lumber have definitely been disrupted during the pandemic, and these delays can throw off the timing of completing a home on time.
Our Simonini team keeps close communication with our supply partners, so we’re prepared and planning ahead should the partner have a longer lead time. We have many examples of times this year where we’ve had to think outside of the box and revisit our schedules to order items ahead of when we would have previously, to keep projects progressing.
One of our recent home developments used a type of paned window that was now experiencing a delay. We found that as a replacement we could get the same style window from the manufacturer, but with a hurricane rating. Charlotte homes don’t often need hurricane protection, but our homeowners now have a higher quality window with the same esthetics, and the project continues to move forward on schedule.
Our trusted door hardware partner was experiencing longer production times -- what used to take them two weeks to deliver was now extending five times longer. We wanted to keep offering the quality product they supplied, so we adjusted our ordering process. We now place orders for hardware much earlier in the schedule to work with the manufacturer’s longer lead time.
A New Way to Communicate
We enjoy spending time with our clients to plan their dream home, and throughout the construction process. However, with coronavirus, we’ve had to get creative to stay in touch.
We are proactive and transparent in communicating to our homeowners about the overall build schedule so they are aware. Our new norm is to get our clients’ approval and sign off on design selections and materials early in the project, and then providing our clients with a weekly virtual update to stay on track.
Through web calls, mailing design samples, virtual tours, and socially distanced meetings, we can still provide interactive design consultations and project updates, and our renowned customer service has been uninterrupted.
We are proud to continue expanding our neighborhoods and new home offerings in the second half of 2020 and into 2021. The Kings Manor neighborhood in Myers Park area of Charlotte will offer townhomes with innovative, yet timeless design choices. The Mayes Hall neighborhood in Davidson will also begin selling single-family homes next year. And our luxury, mid-rise condominium property, 1500 Queens in Charlotte, sold out before construction began.
We’d love the opportunity to work with you and guide you through the process of creating your dream home. Contact us today with any questions, and experience the Simonini difference.