COVID-19 Homeowner Updates: How HomeStars Is Preparing and Responding
At HomeStars, the safety of our community is our main priority. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and update this page as information becomes available. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate this situation with as much care and caution as possible.
April 19, 2021
In response to the rapid increase in COVID-19 transmission, a declaration of emergency and provincewide Stay-at-Home order are in effect as of Thursday, April 8, at 12:01 a.m.
Under these new lockdown measures and according to the most recent update released by the Government of Ontario, residential construction activities or projects and related services are deemed Essential Construction and therefore are allowed to continue.
Canadians are urged to remain vigilant, to continue following local public health advice, and to consistently maintain individual practices that keep us all safe. If you hire a home service professional to perform work in or around your home, be sure to ask them about the extra safety precautions they are taking to keep you and their team safe.
March 18, 2021
Early in March, the Government of Ontario decided to move all regions back into the COVID-19 response framework. Under this current framework, all construction activities are permitted to take place in Ontario. To help you better understand which zone of public health measure you're in, use this COVID-19 Public Health Unit Zone Map.
According to the Government of Ontario, businesses that may open in all zones include:
- Lawn care services, snow clearing and landscaping services.
- Domestic services that support the operation of households, including housekeeping, cooking, indoor and outdoor cleaning and maintenance services.
- Maintenance, repair and property management services that manage and maintain the safety, security, sanitation and operation of institutional, commercial, industrial and residential properties and buildings.
- Construction activities or projects and related services that support construction activities or projects, including demolition services.
- Land surveyors.
While home improvement and construction projects can now take place, Canadians are urged to remain vigilant, to continue following local public health advice, and to consistently maintain individual practices that keep us all safe. If you hire a home service professional to perform work in or around your home, be sure to ask them about the extra safety precautions they are taking to keep you and their team safe.
January 14, 2021
Effective Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 12:01 am the Ontario government has issued a stay-at-home order.
For the home improvement industry this means that all non-essential construction is now restricted. Projects that are exempt and can continue include:
- Essential construction and emergency construction projects.
- Maintenance, repair and property management services that manage and maintain the safety, security, sanitation and operation of residential properties and buildings.
- Residential construction projects where a footing permit has been granted for single-family, semi-detached and townhomes.
- The project is a condominium, mixed-use or other residential building.
- The projects involves renovations to residential properties and construction work was started before Jan 12, 2021.
- Construction surveying.
- Snow clearing and landscaping services.
While non-essential home renovations can not be started now home service professionals are still able to provide quotes remotely.
Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect the people of Ontario from COVID-19.
December 21, 2020
The Ontario government has announced a province wide shutdown to begin on December 26, 2020 at midnight.
Construction activities or projects and home maintenance services will remain open during the shut down.
We encourage everyone to follow the guidelines as outlined by the health authorities.
November 16, 2020
In 2019 HomeStars released the first-ever Reno Report that looked at Canadian attitudes, intentions and spending when it comes to home improvement. In 2020, amidst a global pandemic, many homeowners and industry professionals alike wondered what this would mean for the home improvement industry. We surveyed homeowners across Canada and the results were eye-opening. The majority of respondents were still planning to take on home projects despite COVID-19. Read on to learn more about our most interesting findings in this year's Reno Report.
May 14, 2020
Premier Ford has just announced the first phase of Ontario’s reopening plan. The plan includes all construction projects to resume as of Tuesday, May 19th. This includes both indoor and outdoor household services, such as house cleaning and maintenance.
Physical distancing and public health measures will still be required for these businesses to reopen. In addition, Health Minister Christine Elliott asks the public to wear masks or face coverings while in any circumstance where physical distancing is not possible.
As the province begins to slowly reopen, it is crucial we all still do our part to prevent a resurgence of the virus. Please be cautious when having any construction or improvement projects done to your home.
May 1, 2020
The Ontario government has announced that certain businesses and workplaces will reopen as long as they comply with strict public health measures to operate safely. The businesses allowed to begin operating again include seasonal businesses and some essential construction projects. HomeStars has interpreted this update to mean that home services such as landscaping and lawn care are able to take place starting May 4th, 2020. While certain businesses are now permitted to work under strict guidelines, it is still critical that homeowners continue to stay home as much as possible. If you must go out for essential reasons, continue to practice social distancing and proper hygiene habits. It this through these simple steps that we can continue to stop the spread of COVID-19.
April 3, 2020
Premier Ford released an updated list of the essential businesses that can remain open at this time in Ontario. This update is based on recommendations received from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health with the intent of reducing the spread of COVID-19. HomeStars has interpreted this update to mean the following for our homeowner community.
- No new renovation projects are able to be started past April 4th.
- Existing renovation projects can continue to be completed to ensure your home is safe and sanitary.
- Emergency repairs that keep your home safe and sanitary can be done at any time.
- You can still connect with home service pros online or over the phone to plan future projects.
While we are still in uncertain times, we are all doing our part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Taking these extra precautions is essential in maintaining everyone’s health and safety at this time. HomeStars will continue to update our community as necessary. Stay safe and stay home.
March 25, 2020
Now more than ever, Canadians have united to keep our communities safe. While the current COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it for the time being, we Canadians remain strong in our efforts to persevere through these uncertain times. We all play a part in keeping each other safe and healthy, and we know that we will only come out of this stronger. With so much news and information being shared daily, we would like to offer an update to our community.
Earlier this week, Ontario and other provinces announced states of emergency. Premier Ford declared the temporary closure of non-essential businesses and released the Ontario Government’s List of Essential Businesses. HomeStars is deemed a company that provides service to essential businesses so we will continue to support our homeowner and home service pro community online. With respect to home services across Canada, our team has interpreted Ford’s release to say that work that needs to be done in order to keep your home operational, safe and sanitary can continue to operate.
During this time, if a home repair project must get done, we urge our homeowners and service pros to check up on the latest guidelines released by the health authorities to ensure that everyone stays safe and healthy. As we all know, we must limit in-person contact as much as possible. This means that only essential and emergency services should be done in your home.
As we all spend more time at home, we encourage homeowners to use this time to plan future projects. You can still use HomeStars to virtually connect with pros to get quotes and discuss your spring projects. This way you will be able to proactively plan and carry out your projects when it is safe to do so. In addition, our Homeowner Blog is full of resources to help you prevent common emergency repairs and tips for hiring during this time.
It is important we all do our part to keep our community safe and healthy. This means following the advice provided by the government and health organizations. The HomeStars team is working from home to ensure we are able to provide support to our homeowner and service professional community.
March 17, 2020
As COVID-19 continues to be a concern across Canada, we want to ensure that you're staying safe and healthy at home. In addition to the advice provided by the Canadian government, we want to share a few tips about staying safe during home renovations.
- For projects that you are planning, please reach out to service professionals and have your planning conversations via email, messaging on the HomeStars platform, or over the phone.
- Be sure to reschedule any appointments for workers coming into your home if you or anyone in your household is not feeling well or have travelled outside of Canada within the past 14 days.
- If you need an emergency repair, our pros are still available at this time and are taking extra precautions. When choosing a company ask about the extra precautions they are taking during this time to minimize risk. Avoid shaking hands and other close physical contact.
- We have advised our pros to take extra precautions at this time to maintain both their safety and yours.
Should you have any questions or need support with your reviews or service requests during this time, please reach out to our Homeowner Support team at 1 855 569 0690.