On Tuesday morning around 10 a.m., I fired off a quick post in the Window & Door Installers group on Facebook posing this question: Can you all let me know if people are delaying or canceling appointments and just overall the affects you are feeling thus far? By 8:30 a.m. the next day there were more than 40 comments, and the answer is yes—people are canceling and it is definitely having an impact, with companies saying they expect more to follow. But it also depends. Some dealers say they haven’t seen the effects yet with one saying, he is “still 50 jobs behind.”

On the negative side, Thomas Wepner, from Great Lakes Home Renovations in Apple Valley, Minn., says his call center has taken a number of cancellations for sales appointments on Tuesday.

“I believe we had at least 19 cancellations yesterday,” he says. “Our outbound callers are experiencing call hang-ups and some have outright chewed us out for trying to set a consultation appointment.

That being said, Wepner says he gets it.

“If their house is their safety zone, they don’t really want to risk their family’s safety by inviting a stranger into their safe zone,” he says. “But looking down the pipeline, we need to ensure our workers can keep working and can support their families. Additionally, it’s getting harder to convince homeowners to part with their money during these uncertain times. The homeowners we are able to get in front of are citing concern in the market when stocks have dropped by one third. We have been somewhat successful in making some sales with the help of 18 month No-Interest financing and other financing options. And our owner has been willing to make some concessions in price in order to keep his business afloat until we see ourselves through this pandemic.”

Chris Bonnet, of Clean Cut Windows & Doors in Austin, Texas, says, “We’ve had a number of appointments canceled this week by our customers and the meetings we have been able to conduct have been held in a cautious manner, with no hand shaking. We’re implementing a program within our company for us to be able to conduct remote meetings in order to keep minds at ease and keep the number of cancelations down at this time.”

Trevin Reich at Renewal by Andersen in Central Pennsylvania says all jobs have been canceled for the week.

One individual working at a smaller company in Ohio says people are canceling and postponing “until this thing is over,” whatever that means, he commented.

Another company had to postpone a job including a job with siding, windows and doors, as the family had to isolate themselves for 14 days.

Jimmy Glazier, at Boston Exterior Design Inc., sold a siding job in Boston on Monday, and reports that an hour later they shut down construction in the city, leaving his company unable to secure a permit for the job.

“I’m pushing to get permits filed for other jobs in the state, and getting as much material ordered and picked up as I can in case the suppliers shut down,” he says.

Adam Olschewske, owner of Marshall Exteriors, says for the most part business is continuing in Rochester, N.Y., but he is getting creative by utilizing Zoom, an internet-based service for remote meetings. “We have had a few cancelled [meetings for] estimates, but we have gotten ahead of it with doing virtual appointments.”

There is another small bright spot as well. Jim Richards, lead installer for Energy Exteriors NW in North Creek, Wash., has had customers call and postpone installations for jobs in stock and in production. But he has had the opposite happen as well.

“We have also had clients buy complete exterior packages, including windows and siding, because they are stuck at home,” he says. “We had a client walk in yesterday off the street for 50 fiberglass windows.” This is particularly notable considering his business is in the Seattle area where the virus has so far had the biggest impact in the U.S.

Feel free to post a comment telling how the virus is affecting your business and be sure to check dwmmag.com for further updates.

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