Tools up for property maintenance man

Back at it . . . Green Thumb Property Maintenance owner Michael Lucas has made small changes to stick to the Alert Level 3 rules. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Property maintenance operator Michael Lucas is looking forward to getting back to business.

Mr Lucas, who owns Green Thumb Property Maintenance in Dunedin, has had to put his tools down for the past month due to the Covid-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown.

He kept busy by doing some maintenance on his equipment and jobs around the house.

“We’ve pretty much done everything now so definitely ready to get back into it on Tuesday,” he told The Star last week.

He had had to make only small changes to the way the business operated to abide by the Level 3 rules, he said.

He usually worked by himself — besides employing a part›time worker, who could not return until Level 2 — and did not have much face-to-face contact with his customers.

For those customers who preferred to pay in cash he had asked that they leave the money out.

He would take extra care to sanitise between each job.

Many customers were elderly, so even before the lockdown they tended to yell instructions out of their windows, preserving a safe distance.

“They’re pretty cautious anyway.”

Before Level 4, he was booked up for a month, and now had work until the start of June, he said.

Business was starting to trickle back in, but winter was always a worry as it was a quieter time.

Usually, he reverted back to his previous trade as a chef at his friend’s restaurant.

“At this stage, there’s plenty of work for the first six weeks and then it’s one of those businesses where you just play it by ear, really.”

Getting the Government’s wage subsidy helped to ease the anxiety he had felt when the lockdown was announced.

“There was a sigh of relief when that popped in there [his bank account].”