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Can renovation work restart?

The government has lifted restrictions on the property market, allowed tradespeople to get back to work and given the green light for people to move house once again. If you’re planning, or have already started, a renovation project, this means it’s time to pick up where you left off.

The new guidelines include advice for tradespeople heading back to work, as well as advice for homeowners on how to manage tradespeople in your property given the current rules on social distancing.

Below, we’ve summarised everything you need to know to get your renovation work up and running safely and sensibly.

Can renovation work go ahead now?

Yes, renovation work can indeed go ahead and tradespeople can come round to work in your home, but it’s essential that you and any tradespeople you’re working with adhere to the government’s social distancing guidelines.

What should I do if I’m self-isolating?

If you or any member of your household is showing symptoms of coronavirus then no tradespeople should enter your property. Tradespeople should also contact you in advance to check this. If anyone in your household is self-isolating, all work should be postponed.

What about if the tradesperson is showing symptoms?

If a tradesperson is showing symptoms then they should not come round to your house or carry out any work. Make sure you speak to whoever is due to start working on your renovation ahead of time. If any party is showing symptoms of coronavirus, however mild, work should be postponed until a full self-isolation period has been completed.

What guidelines should tradespeople be following?

All tradespeople should follow the follow the government’s guidance on working safely during coronavirus.

To work as safely as possible, tradespeople should:

  • Wash their hands on entering your home, using separate towels of paper towels which need to be washed or disposed of safely after use.
  • Minimise contact with homeowners and remain two metres apart from anyone else at all times.
  • Implement a buddy system and ensure that the same people work together where this is needed.
  • Bring their own refreshments, but households should ensure they have access to hand washing facilities.

What can homeowners do?

When a tradesperson is at your home, you should maintain social distancing and minimise contact as much as possible by staying in another room to where the work is happening where possible.

You should leave all internal doors open to minimise contact with door handles.

Ask tradesperson to remove all waste and belongings from their work area at the end of a shift and to clean down the surfaces in the room or rooms they have been working in. You should also do your own thorough clean of high traffic areas and any shared facilities such as toilets or kitchens before and after each work shift.

Are DIY stores open again?

DIY stores are deemed by the government to be essential businesses, so some DIY shops have remained open throughout the whole of lockdown. Others decided to close their doors to protect staff and customers, but have started to reopen with strict social distancing measures in place from the end of April.

If you’re planning to visit a DIY store, it’s a good idea to call ahead to check current opening times, as they may not be operating standard hours. Some DIY stores have also been offering a click and collect service, whereby you must place your order online before arriving at the store, so it is advised to check the websites of any DIY stores first before visiting to ensure you’re not making an unnecessary trip.

Which renovations add the most value?

The property market is in a somewhat difficult place right now, so if you’ve made the decision to renovate your home before selling it then now is the perfect time to try to add as much value as possible to your property.

From smaller-scale renovations such as kitchen or bathroom refurbs to large-scale renovations such as loft or garage conversions to add square footage to your home, there are many renovations that will prove beneficial when it comes to adding value to your property.

Updating your central heating and boosting energy efficiency could also add kerb appeal, with many house hunters looking to buy greener homes.

For more information on renovations, explore our step-by-step guide to renovating your home and find out the types of renovations that won’t add value to your property.

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