How to Help Builders Stay on the Job

Codes and Standards

NAHB is committed to ensuring members continue to operate their businesses throughout the coronavirus pandemic as certain states and local municipalities explore and enact “remain in place” orders. We know all jurisdictions are different, and continue to monitor the ever-changing situations across the United States.

“Remain in place” orders prohibit all activity and all travel, except for three categories:

  • Essential activities
  • Essential businesses
  • Essential government functions

Under all circumstances, including those covered under one of these three essential categories, people should maintain a social distance of 6 feet from each other.

Housing is a major engine of the economy, and keeping the men and women of the industry working must be a priority. New home construction and remodeling and incidental businesses must be considered part of the essential infrastructure so that people continue to have safe, habitable places to live now and after the pandemic is over.

NAHB members across the country should prepare for the possibility that "remain in place" orders may go into effect in their jurisdiction. Although many states and local municipalities have deemed residential construction an essential business, jurisdictions such as Pennsylvania have excluded it. This further complicates the struggles builders are already facing not only related to coronavirus — including permitting delays, supply chain disruptions, etc. — but in increasing the much-needed supply of housing as well.

A number of state and local home builder associations (HBAs) have successfully advocated that residential construction be deemed an essential infrastructure business because of the necessary support it provides to the community.

“While citizens are coping with a variety of restrictions as a result of the health crisis, it is essential that they have access to our professionals to build and maintain essential services like plumbing, electrical, HVAC systems, water/wastewater treatment plants and power generation facilities, hospitals and roads, and provide them shelter,” the Colorado Association of Home Builders noted in a coalition letter to the governor advocating for an exemption for home builders and trades.

To help members track requirements across jurisdictions, NAHB has created a map detailing which states and municipalities have enacted orders that may impact builders. The map is part of NAHB’s Coronavirus Preparedness and Response page, which includes business continuity resources to help builders maintain operations throughout this crisis. It also includes advocacy resources for state and local HBAs whose local jurisdiction may be exploring similar “remain in place” provisions to ensure residential construction is rightfully designated as an essential infrastructure business.

NAHB will continually update the map, as well as its list of HBA and business resources, as more information becomes available. See more at

For more state and local resources and help with advocacy efforts, contact Karl Eckhart.

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