WINDSOR, ONT. -- Contractors and home renovators are relieved they are excluded from Ontario’s third lockdown.

Nikki Gemus, owner of Duby’s Home Centre in Amherstburg, Ont. first panicked when the Ford government said all non-essential construction was restricted.

“I thought for sure that meant everything residential was shut down, unless you’re doing a new build,” Gemus says, 

After spending the evening Friday searching the government websites, he was relieved to find the answer he was hoping for.

“It told us that residential construction was good to go, so we were very happy,” says Gemus.

“It’s very good news for our industry.”

Small retailers have been forced to rely on curbside pickup and online ordering since April 3.

Losing in-home renovations and installs would have been a serious blow to their business says Gemus.

“It’s a busy time for us, anyways, so to have to push people back another month or six weeks or something would have definitely been a challenge,” he says.

Across the entire construction industry, Jim Lyons, president of the Windsor Construction Association says this lockdown will only impact 10 per cent of projects already underway.

“It’s a small percentage of the workforce that would be impacted right now by this particular lockdown,” he says.

Lyons says the restrictions are targeting private, commercial projects, like office towers or hotels.

“Not a lot of that work is going on in our area right now,” he says.

Lyons says the bulk of the work, locally, can continue because it is for new schools, institutions, residential housing plus road and sewer work.

He admits the rules are confusing and says he spends a lot of his time now, reading the regulations and helping members stay within the guidelines.

“Everyone’s worried about the risk they take and who’s going to get the fine,” says Lyons.

Lyons believes contractors can get a letter, from their client, to prove their work is essential.

But concedes there is a lot of confusion between the industry and enforcement officers.

“A member called me this morning to let me know that a bylaw enforcement officer had visited and informed they shouldn’t be doing something they’re doing and when I read the (regulations) what they are doing is completely allowable. So we need to be consistent.”