NORTHJERSEY.COM ❚ THURSDAY, APRIL 2, 2020 ❚ 3H
HOMESCAPE / ADVERTISING SECTION
Contractors in wait-and-see mode amid coronavirus
By JOSEPH RITACCO
n business nearly 40 years,
Bob “Woody” Faulborn, owner
of Dumont-based Woody’s
Plumbing and Heating, has
never seen anything impact busi-
ness quite like COVID-19.
“The supply houses are won-
dering if we’re still working,” said
Faulborn. “The phone isn’t ringing,
and everything is shut down. People
are really shaken up by this.”
Though home improvement
businesses maintain “essential”
status in the judgement of New
Jersey leaders and lawmakers,
local plumbers, electricians and
other contractors have seen
their workloads greatly reduced
because of the coronavirus, as
workers and customers alike are
taking an appropriately cautious
approach to home repairs and
Faulborn recalled a recent
house call to repair a drain that
was causing a leak. “The home-
owners called us and assured
us everyone at their house was
well,” he said. “I went into the
garage, put on my rubber gloves,
took care of the problem and left.
I barely saw them.”
“You really can’t start a job
without a permit,” said Faulborn,
“but borough halls are closed,
and inspectors aren’t working.
You would only get so far in a
job before having to wait. I have
several bathroom renovation
projects lined up
that I’m unable
on hold for the
would be wise
PHOTO COURTESY OF GETTY IMAGES
as a preventive
Select plumbers are cautiously taking simple repair
and emergency calls, but holding off on large projects. of emphasis,
He added most plumbers would
according to PlumbingSupply.
like to make a few bucks because
com, should include disassembling
“the bills still keep coming,” but
drain traps and removing hair and
larger projects like bath or kitchen other debris from tubs, showers
remodels present logistical problems.
and sinks before full blockages
occur, replacing bad washers or
cartridges to remedy dripping fau-
cets, and sealing gaps with fresh
caulk to prevent water from get-
ting behind walls and under floors.
But Faulborn doesn’t recom-
mend homeowners do anything
more involved than performing
simple maintenance, as they may
make a plumbing problem worse.
Larger residential projects
that require electrical contracting
services have also been put on hold
at Clifton-based Monte Electric,
Inc., said long-time owner Jim
Montelbano, Jr., who is proceeding
with caution for the time being.
“We’re limiting our residential
business to emergency, or ‘life
safety,’ service calls,” he said.
“Those would include boiler repairs
and situations where homeowners
smell smoke or see sparks coming
out of an outlet.”
He added his team, which
includes four other workers, is
wearing masks, using sanitizer
wipes, staying six feet apart and
abiding by the other general
rules related to social distancing.
He encourages customers to
call with questions and does his
best to walk them through minor
issues like testing and resetting
outlets. Most importantly, he wants
to reassure customers that certain
electrical issues they have are not
dangerous or life-threatening.
More complex jobs have been
delayed, which of course puts
a strain on business. “Our big-
gest worry is financial,” said
Montelbano. “Is everyone going to
do their spring projects, like out-
door lighting and pool work? A lot
of homeowners use the refunds
they get during tax season to do
the home improvement projects
they put off in the winter.”
He added, customers have been
understanding of the company’s
reduced residential workload, as
many of them are also exercising
caution during this difficult time.
“Hold tight,” he said. “We’ll
be there when things get better.”
Cabinets: stainless steel, too
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2H
In addition to acrylic, Sterl’s company
sells stainless-steel cabinets. “The stainless
doors are always hollow over a medium-
density fiberboard core,” Sterl explains.
“Finish-wise, some stainless doors feature
a horizontal or vertical grain, but most peo-
ple choose a brushed swirl, non-directional
pattern to hide scratches,” she adds.
Stainless cabinets are quite durable, as
well. Unlike wood, they won’t warp or crack
in a kitchen’s often humid environment.
If you like the sleek, modern appearance
of this metal, but fear it might be too cold,
mixing it as an accent with wood can soften
or warm up a too-cool vibe. And as Sterl sug-
gests, “Stainless steel may be combined with
espresso or white cabinetry, or warm colors
in between, depending on the look desired.”
Again, like acrylic, the material can be
pricey. “Real stainless steel is expensive,”
Sterl notes, “so it is definitely for a high-end
kitchen. But when it is used [just for] accent-
ing cabinetry, you can get the look without
as much cost. For another option to save on
cost, you can use it just on cabinet fronts.”
Whichever material or combination of
materials you choose for kitchen cabinetry,
make your selection wisely, in keeping with
your budget and what pleases you from
both a functional and aesthetic point of
view. It’s an investment you’ll undoubtedly
live with for a long time.
PHOTO COURTESY OF KITCHEN MAGIC
Quality kitchen cabinets are available in
a variety of materials to suit every taste.
Y our kitchen
in l less
ess time, with less stress, at an amazing value.
$ 1,500 OFF
Cabinet Refacing or New
Cabinetry with a Countertop
Request your FREE In-Home
*Discount applies to cabinet refacing or new cabinets with a countertop.
or apply this
offer to prior
*May not combine May
apply to with
at time of
Exp. 12/31/19. 13VH00693000
GPS something for everyone.
1.800.CALL GPS | shopgps.com
Bayonne | Bergenﬁeld | Eatontown | Edison | Flemington | Green Brook
Hawthorne | Lakewood | Matawan | Morris Plains | Orange | Paramus
For additional locations please visit our website.