KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Many people around Kansas City, Missouri, are working from home or are home and not working, which means they might have more time on their hands. In some cases, that is leading to homeowners jumping into remodeling projects while stay-at-home orders are in effect to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Donnie Kirk and his son, Josh, run Kirk's Remodeling and Custom Homes. They are continuing to work during the pandemic, but only on essential projects like kitchens and bathrooms. Employees now wear gloves and masks at all times when inside a client's home.
Josh Kirk said people who want to do remodeling themselves should know their limitations before they get too involved.
"If you're going to be spending the money, don't spend the money and have to redo it again," Josh Kirk said. "I think that's the worst part, when somebody goes out there and thinks they can do it and then they're stuck with a dysfunctional room or space, and then we're having to come in to fix what they couldn't do."
Because of social distancing guidelines now in place around the country, Josh Kirk began giving estimates to potential clients based solely off video chats, pictures and rough measurements. He can then supply a rendering of what the job will look like.
"You're getting a 3D design of, 'This is what my cabinets are going to look like,' 'This is what my floors are going to look like,' 'This is where the sink is going to lay out,'" he said. "So it gives the customer a really good idea of what the after design is going to be."
It had been Josh Kirk's goal to dive into that type of software; he said the pandemic forced his hand.
Hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowe's are open, but the stay-at-home orders state that people can only leave their homes for essential reasons.
So, fixing a bathroom would justify a trip to the store, but leaders said now is not the time to travel to the store to buy a can of paint to change the color of a perfectly functional existing wall; that is not essential.