A letter about how Covid19 is impacting the remodeling industry and specifically how Merrick Design and Build is responding. First written 3/27/20

Hello to our Customers, Vendors and Team Members,

I am sure you all are sharing the same mix of emotions that I am. Fear, anxiety a bit of panic and possibly, some relief. That last one may seem a bit odd, but let me explain. The level of anxiety I felt building up last week prior to Governor Hogan’s Essential Business shut down announcement on the 23rd was unsurpassed. I was panicked by what ifs. What if the government shuts us down, what will that do to my business, my employees, our projects? How will it impact everyone I care about? These questions had me buried.

Now that the shutdown has happened, I am able to take action and control my situation. Starting with my attitude. I am choosing to be optimistic.

While it is terrifying to know that this pandemic is just getting started and that myself and/or someone I know will likely contract the virus. I know that it also brings possibilities. The possibility to take a rest, strengthen our family bonds, finish those personal projects, learn something new, the list goes on. I’ve started a list of all the things I want to work on to improve Merrick while I have the time. To name a few I want to review our employee manual, sub-contractor agreement and online customer portal. All of these are key parts of our business model that could use a refresh.

To clarify Merrick Design and Build, is not shut down. As a remodeling company we are part of the Commercial Facilities Sector and are considered an essential business. We are actively working to complete our current projects and our Handyman Team is still ready to help you tackle your honey do list and emergency repairs. Our Field Team is taking the following the CDC guidelines to keep everyone safe.

  • Cleaning our hands often with soap and/or using disinfectant hand sanitizer, when available.
  • Ensuring we are covering any cough or sneeze.
  • Keeping a safe distance from people – social distancing rules of six feet.
  • Cleaning frequently touched surfaces.

While we are still working things are slowing down. Not all our vendors and suppliers are open. For example, our cabinet manufacture in Buffalo New York has had to close it’s factory. For the time being it will be difficult for us to start new Design Build Projects. However now is a perfect time to plan for them.

Our Sales Team is still working to design more functional homes, kitchens and bathrooms for the homeowners on southern Montgomery County and NW DC. We are just doing it by video chat and screen share these days. Many of our local vendors are also offering virtual showroom tours and meetings.

As I watched Jerome Powell, The Chairman of the Federal Reserve, on the Today Show, yesterday I again felt relief. He spoke with assurance about an economic recovery, explaining that this recession is a symptom of the virus and as we recover and the curve flattens, our economy will recover too. This brought to mind new possibilities. What great projects will our customers come up with for me to tackle while they are stuck in their homes? Will someone want a new walk in wine fridge, or a rocket ship playhouse for their backyard or maybe they will want to add a new family room to continue spending quality time with their families, once we find a new normal. The possibilities are endless, and that is exciting!

With Great Optimism,

Addie Merrick

Vice President Merrick Design and Build Inc.