Whether it is a national lockdown or local restrictions that are in force, the rules around renovations need careful checking.
At the moment, England’s national lockdown will be lifted on Wednesday 2nd December. If you are in another UK country, check with your government advice, but as the rules stand you are permitted to have a refit of kitchens as well as other projects. You may also redecorate, landscape a garden, engage an electrician, plumber, construction firm or roofer.
More good news is that hardware shops are still open throughout this second national lockdown, as the government realises they are an essential service.
What Are The Procedures To Follow When Hiring A Professional?
Social distancing guidelines should be adhered to, as should ordinary mask-wearing procedure indoors.
In addition to this, tradespeople (including architects) should also:
- Check that you or your household have no signs of coronavirus or coronavirus, or are self-isolating.
- Any symptoms, no matter how mild must result in a postponing of the works.
- Contractors should wash and sanitise their hands when they arrive.
- Maintain correct social distancing of two meters at all times.
- Contractors are encouraged to use a buddy system, to ensure a bubble of workers, together in any one context.
- Contractors should not access the household’s refreshment facilities and bring their own.
- Contractors should be provided with disposable handwashing and drying facilities separate from the family
What Are The Guidelines For Maintaining The Site?
Your home or project will become a workplace for all intents and purposes, and it is important to follow the rules carefully.
- Maintain social distancing of two meters.
- Limit the numbers of people on-site together.
- Encourage contractors to arrive by car or van, not public transport.
- Ensure neither contractors or anyone else in the home has any coronavirus symptoms
What Else Should A Homeowner Do To Prepare?
- Communication is vital for your contractor or architect. Ensure you understand each other and the procedures you are adhering to.
- Have plans to reduce risks wherever possible. Implement a buddy system for contractors to work together in a bubble.
- Plan your project well, especially allowing for deliveries to arrive possibly later than usual. We advise not beginning any job until the materials are ready.
- Sanitise as much as possible and ensure surfaces are wiped down with antibacterial cleaners frequently. Provide hand sanitation for your contractors.
- Minimise contact with the work area. This means removing pets and children from space.
- Embrace technology and use zoom, skype and other means of electronic communication for speaking to your contractors where possible.
- Ensure you have the correct insurance in place for all eventualities and contractors.
- If anyone is shielding or has symptoms of coronavirus, you must inform your contractors. Only emergency work can be carried out in these circumstances.
Take heart, it is still possible to have renovation work done during a lockdown, or other local area restrictions, it just requires some careful planning and of course, an experienced architect is well placed to advise you on how!