Boston Shuts Down Construction Activity: What You Need To Know and Do

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Marty Walsh all construction activity to stop in the City of Boston effective March 17, 2020. This order appears to apply to both commercial and residential jobs and regardless of the size of the job.  If your house is under construction, then your contractor must secure the property within seven days with a minimal crew and then stop work.  Here are some things that you should be doing:

  • If the property is not weathertight, get the property weathertight in the best way possible
  • Secure any steps or egresses to the property that could be a hazard for you, particularly if you are living at the property
  • Secure any hazards as best you can, particularly if you are living in the house
  • Secure the property to prevent entry.  This is both to prevent looting of items already installed and to keep trespassers from inside the property and to prevent injuries
  • If you are out of your house because of a flood or a fire and your insurance company is paying for your housing, be in touch with your insurance agent and request an extension on payment for your temporary rental.  Speak to your landlord now about extending the time to stay in your rental.
  • If you are living in your house and part of it is being renovated, you may need to seal off that area of the house to manage
  • Do not attempt to undertake work yourself if you are not qualified to do so.
  • If you do not already know, ask your contractor the status of the work and what is left to be done
  • Make sure you and your contractor are settled up on payments.  The contractor should be paid for the work performed but not overpaid.
  • Find out from the contractor if he ordered any materials that will be delivered in the coming days or weeks to the house.  Obtain delivery information so you can follow up with the vendor to confirm delivery times.  Ask the contractor if there are any particular requirements for storing the materials (for example, new hardwood flooring needs to sit in the house so it can acclimate to the temperature).
  • Have the contactor’s contact information so you can follow up with any issues you discover