Coronavirus lockdown—can builders still work on your house renovation project?

Advice

The Coronavirus has impacted us in many ways. With lots of us working from home and projects around the house on a standstill. After months of planning for a house renovation, it can be frustrating to extend the plans, but keeping you and your builders safe is essential during this time. Here’s what to do if you’ve been affected and the rules around your house renovation project.

With the uncertainty of COVID-19 regarding your ongoing house renovations, the government has shut down all construction work. On the other hand, the smaller businesses and residential projects have a divided opinion on the ‘stay at home’ message that can be taken differently. Of course, some projects can hold off for a while, but if you have a renovation, extension, or repair that is essential, they can be finished.

Can builders still work on your house renovation project through lockdown?

The short answer is ‘yes,’ but while it is allowed to progress, there are essential things you need to consider to save the spread of the virus from assuring you all stay safe.
If your builder grants your project to be in a safe environment where the area can be well-ventilated, along with other vital factors to continue working on, only then will they proceed with it to secure their income. They also need to take into consideration that they are fit and well as well as showing no symptoms of the Coronavirus.

You and the builder need to remain two metres apart to abide by the social distancing rules that the government has put in place in addition to regularly washing your hands. Don’t forget when you are sharing handrails and doors that this is still spreading the virus around, so take note of this when proceeding with regular cleaning – Antibacterial wipes and hand-sanitiser will do the trick.

If you are continuing with the project, then prepare that it may have to grind to a halt. No one knows what is around the corner when it comes to the virus, but if you can get further along with your renovation, then negotiate the timeline of your project as it could take longer than you previously planned. If you are already booked in, you might have to rebook to allow another customer to have an essential renovation done if yours can wait.

Am I okay to proceed with DIY tasks myself?

If you have an uncompleted DIY task like plastering, painting, and decorating, then it’s better to wait for a professional to complete the job as this is not classed as essential. This will avoid any accidents, but if it’s essential to your general day to day living, ensure you do lots of research beforehand. Any machinery of any sort is best to avoid unless you have been being trained or qualified in using the tool to prevent injury.

Sourcing materials during the Coronavirus is going to be more restricted than usual, but that can’t stop you from getting supplies. There are many companies out there that are giving a contactless service by allowing you to pay online or over the phone and providing a delivery service instead of their usual collection method to avoid face to face contact. They will often drop the materials on the doorstep and walk away, allowing you to pick them up, sticking to the social distancing rules, very similar to the Postal services.
If the items are more substantial and are required to come into your home, ensure that you wipe any surfaces they have touched and opened the windows and doors to allow the room to ventilate.

When receiving any goods, using an antibacterial wipe or spray the items before you use them, something that goes amiss is throwing any packaging in the bin instantly.
Finish with washing your hands because the virus can stay on materials like cardboard for around three days.

Many companies are selling essential items only for the time being through their online website while closing their shops. They have limited staff, so be aware that your delivery could take longer than usual even if you pay extra for faster delivery. If you are struggling to find a store that has your item in stock, then opting for places like Amazon and eBay may be a better option. They are still providing a regular stock list and speedy deliveries, take note that Amazon’s Prime service is a little slower at the moment on some items.

Where do I stand if we are self-isolating?

The government is giving clear advice that you are not to have any work carried out if your household is self-isolating. Whether this is down to one member being vulnerable to the virus or someone showing symptoms, it is not safe for you to have builders round.

If you need essential repairs within your household during this time, you need to contact your buildings and contents insurance company straight away. Otherwise, this will invalidate your policy.

Ensuring you and others around you are staying safe; if the builders are willing to finish your project to secure an income, then it is okay to proceed. You can do this by washing your hands while allowing your builders to have access to hot water and soup. Before and after they arrive at your home, it a to use an antibacterial product to wipe all the sides, door handles, tools. To be safe, wash any clothes which have been in contact with anything straight into the wash while not forgetting to clean the handle to your washing machine.

If you are unsure if you feel safe having a builder in your home during the coronavirus outbreak, then the advice is to postpone it until the lockdown is removed to ensure you do not bring yourself into contact with the virus you don’t have to. If you need more advice or want to keep up with the update regarding house renovations during the lockdown, find more on the Government website where the website is updated daily.

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