Archadeck of Austin’s Response to COVID-19
Now— right now —is the best time to get the ball rolling on any outdoor projects you have in mind. While you may have projects lined up that you can handle yourself, this is not the time for DIY patios and other hardscapes, covered porches, decks, pergolas, etc. As always, those projects are better left to the professionals—like Archadeck of Austin, of course—with vast experience and expertise.
As you can imagine, we have made some changes to the way we interact with homeowners to reduce or eliminate direct contact. Our priority right now is keeping everyone—clients, contractors and design consultants alike—safe and healthy. You can find the details on the home page of our website.
First and foremost, we can assure you that none of our office staff are, or have been, infected with COVID-19. To our knowledge, none of our contractors have been exposed or infected. If anything changes, we will notify our clients immediately.
Our new policies, effective immediately:
1) Eliminate handshaking
2) Conduct all meetings outside while maintaining a safe distance from each other
3) In any way possible, refrain from close contact with clients and do as much work remotely as possible.
Obviously, Archadeck of Austin is a construction company and work must be performed at your home. With the exception of door installations, all of our projects are exterior projects, so visiting inside your home is not necessary. What’s more, we already handle most documentation remotely, including the signing of contracts.
Additional changes to our process: Keeping you safe while continuing to work
Initial visit and scope
Spring is usually our busiest time of the year in terms of initial visits. Typically, the initial meeting is a design consultation, an in-depth discussion of the scope of work. We talk about your desires for your outdoor living space, we measure the site and we take pictures. We discuss design options, budgets, our process and reasons why it makes sense to use Archadeck for your outdoor living structures. With the exception of the personal interaction (which is very important), most of the requirements of the initial visit can be done remotely, including measurements and photographs.
We are now offering a remote design consultation as a new service. It requires some work on your part—photographs and measurements—but saves us both from potential exposure. If the option of conducting the initial visit remotely is of interest to you, please refer to the procedure outlined on this web page: About Your Project and Home. We have provided diagrams and clear instructions to help you take the measurements and photos we need to begin designing your project.
We are arming our design consultants with video conferencing tools to assist in this regard. What you will need is a typical computer set-up with broadband internet access and a monitor. This meeting typically includes a lot of questions and answers about the project you have in mind. This conversation works well via video conference.
Once we arrive at an agreed-upon scope of work and budget, we will provide 3D renderings at no cost to you. These 3D representations are not photos of your home; they reproduce your home and project, to scale, in a CAD environment. You’ll get a good sense of scale and size from the 3D renderings. We will perform this service at no charge unless multiple iterations are required.
Material selection could be a challenge
With the possible exception of decking, material selection can be handled remotely, too. Most clients, however, do want to see, touch and feel decking samples. An on-site visit for decking selection may be unavoidable.
Contract and specifications
Once you decide to move forward, we will handle the contracting process remotely. We can send all documents via email.
Collection of funds
Once a contract is approved, we need to collect your deposit. We encourage clients to use credit cards for these transactions. If you prefer to pay by check, we ask that you place your check in a clear plastic bag.
Today, most municipalities we serve are processing permits electronically.
The following municipalities do not process permits electronically at this time:
- City of Austin
- Round Rock
- Westlake Hills
The City of Austin is on the verge of processing permits electronically. Given the current situation, we expect some of the other municipalities to make that transition, too.
These are probably your most important meetings during construction. We can conduct these meetings in your back yard, taking normal precautions.
It would be foolish to say there will be no impact from the COVID-19 protocols on construction schedules, etc. At this time, I cannot identify any delays from COVID-19, but we will keep you advised on any issues and changes.
We can still conduct walkthroughs in the back yard with you—with normal precautions taken.
We are finding innovative ways to make life and business go on as usual, and we wish you all well.
COVID-19 is changing the way we all think, work and entertain ourselves. At Archadeck of Austin, we have not seen a reduction in demand for outdoor living structures, and we continue to work. If anything, you have even more reasons now to add a pleasant space at home where you can enjoy the outdoors.
If you want to add a covered patio, screened porch, deck, outdoor kitchen, fire feature or pergola, there’s no need to postpone it.
In fact, if you wait until the stay-at-home order is lifted before you proceed, it will likely take us longer to schedule your project. We do expect a big rush of new projects once restrictions are lifted. We recommend you give us a call now and secure your spot on our schedule. We look forward to speaking with you!
Whatever your outdoor living dreams are made of, call Archadeck of Austin today at (512) 886-8367 to schedule your free design consultation.
— Jim Odom, Owner of Archadeck of Austin