Contractors making up for lost time – News –

Home improvement in the Erie area are working to gain ground after the COVID-19 shutdown.

Home improvement services in the Erie area are working to make up for lost time and, in some cases, missed opportunities after the COVID-19 outbreak ceased operations and postponed the projects their customers requested for some time.

But the return has not come without a degree of frustration for the company.

Braendel Painting & Services Inc., based in Erie and Great Lakes Construction, both had above-average business volumes at the start of 2020 before being forced to cease operations in mid-March due to COVID-19 restrictions. said their owners.

“We were able to handle a few emergencies, but not a lot. It was shocking to switch from full staff to nowhere. There were definitely some troubled times, ”said Dennis Braendel of Braendel Painting & Services Inc.

Great Lakes Construction’s Mark Tarasovich said the shutdown was unfortunate but it didn’t really slow the company down. The company resumed operations on May 4 and was busy with appointments for the first week, he said.

“I would almost compare it to a weather lag,” said Tarasovich. “We are very happy to be back. People want to buy so it has been pretty positive for us aside from the delay. “

He said he’s not sure what is driving his company’s continued strong home improvement business, but thinks people still need roofs, windows, doors and siding.

Braendel, whose company quickly commissioned a series of painting, roofing and interior renovation work after its reopening on May 1st, cannot explain the boom either.

“We found that a lot of people still want things to be done. I don’t know if it’s because of the time they spent looking around the house. I don’t know if you plan to go on vacation and would rather put the money in your house, ”said Braendel.

Andy Vinca, the owner of Angelos Roofing & Construction Inc. in Erie, was able to keep some of his 25 employees working during the breakout to do emergency repairs as allowed under the restrictions.

But Vinca said while his company followed all of the guidelines, there were others who didn’t and were still running projects across the rooftop.

“Our guys were great and we were able to stay open,” said Vinca, whose company resumed operations on May 4th. “We have a lot of work ahead of us, our 25 boys are back at work and we are.” happy to work. “

At J’s Flooring Center, which has two locations in Erie, the owners spent the days leading up to the May 11 reopening sourcing supplies that had been put on hold and liaising with customers waiting for work advances.

It was frustrating that big hardware store retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s were able to sell floors during the outbreak while J’s Flooring couldn’t, said Jason Hines, an owner.

“We’ll put the pieces together,” he said.

Sam Catania Painting’s Sam Catania Jr.’s frustration was not knowing when he and his 30 employees would be back to work.

He said his company was due to close on March 16, and finally received news from the state that it could reopen in the week of May 10.

While waiting for official clearance, Catania said he had taken “a ridiculous amount” of calls from people trying to get painting work done.

“We have some people who lost jobs because we can’t get in fast enough,” he said. “It was really difficult.”

Contact Tim Hahn at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @ETNhahn.

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