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When the pandemic first hit the United States, many businesses were either ordered closed by different states or decided to close by themselves. There are, however, some major exceptions: those businesses that are considered as “essential” enough that should continue operating during this crisis. There are many states that include construction and building materials industries as “essential services.”

Of course, this might make many people wonder why construction is a fundamental service. To clear the misconception about construction services, here’s a brief guide that breaks down why construction is considered as a fundamental service.

Essential or Fundamental Services

Before knowing why construction is considered a fundamental service, it is also important to know what are essential or fundamental services.

There are currently few regulations on which services are deemed essential and most of the decisions regarding fundamental businesses that are exempt from closing down are made on a state-by-state basis. The more obvious ones are health care providers, grocery stores, food industries and other sectors that are vital in maintaining a functioning society, such as energy and communications. However, it may vary in different countries and states so it is important to check a state’s guidelines to know what are classified as essential services.

Construction is Usually Essential

Now the question is: why does construction often fall in the fundamental service category? Taking a look at the essential businesses that were listed in common, it all boils down to the fact that they all need contractors and building material dealers that will build and maintain their facilities, as well as provide them with equipment that will keep them in operation (and even help them in saving lives). When it comes to building temporary housing that will shelter those who are in need of it, contractors are the best in the business.

Moreover, beyond emergency and maintenance services, anyone could just easily argue that new construction, commercial and residential, is an indispensable part of the infrastructure in many ways. Fortunately though, in American states, construction projects are permitted to continue as long as the workers maintain safe, six-foot distances, between each other and other people. Although this protocol is more likely to hurt those in cramped indoor finishing and remodeling businesses the most, majority of the businesses are still focused on outdoor work and new construction.

While construction is considered a fundamental service, there still remains the fact that many contractors are either already out of work or will be going out of work. Take, for instance, the state of New York: it closed down thousands of residential jobsites to favor more construction that are considered as essential.

Is it Still Possible to Work in The Construction Industry?

Construction is an essential service, yes. However, in the United States, not all regions put “shelter-in-place” orders into practice. Moreover, there are other states that have narrow views about essential construction projects. While more states and local governments will be issuing such requirements sooner, with the COVID-19 pandemic happening right now, it is undeniable that what will happen to the construction industry in the near future is still uncertain.

It is also noteworthy that the term “construction services” covers a wide spectrum of tasks and responsibilities in a building process. There are countless construction services that can ensure the success of a project, and keeping everything under control isn’t always easy. This is even more so now that the pandemic is making it harder for the construction industry. Aside from those actually working on building projects, supplying dealers and contractors with building materials that are manufactured in the United States are also part of the construction industry. Today, many staff members of these industries are already working from home and still continue to produce content to update their customers.

Don’t forget to stay updated with news and information affecting the construction industry in this time of crisis.


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