The latest COVID-19 lockdown laws have forced thousands of homeowners to face months of uncertainty, wondering if home improvement projects can still be done in 2020. If you are a homeowner working with builders in London, here is how you might be affected and what steps to take to avoid delaying your home renovations much longer.
Is Your Renovation Essential?
The UK government has currently not defined “Essential building work” explicitly. The official guidelines say, “Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople carrying out repairs and maintenance, can continue, provided that the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms.” This means that home renovations need to adhere to strict social distancing for everyone’s safety.
Social Distancing Rules
Safe practices should be taken very seriously while working with builders in London. The construction site should have the least amount of London builders possible to ensure that social distancing measures are being conducted with everyone keeping a two-meter gap between each other. The workers should not arrive by public transport and should use their own van or car. If a builder is unwell, they will not be allowed on the site and should stay in isolation for two weeks, even if this causes project delays.
If Your Household Is Self-Isolating
Unfortunately, if you are in self-isolation, no work can be done on your property during this period. The only exception is if your London builders need to provide emergency repairs or fix plumbing issues that are impacting your wellbeing while in isolation.
Protect Your Renovation
If there is a chance that safe social distancing practices cannot be maintained during construction, your contractor will ensure that all openings are watertight and boarded before leaving the property permanently. They will also close all access routes to the site to secure and store the materials safely.
Securing the Contract
It is essential to be flexible with contracts as these are unprecedented times in the world, and a lot of projects are getting cancelled or pushed back. It is best not to rely on every single one of the contract’s terms, and you should speak to your contractor to make any amendments. For example, you can either draw up a new contract to reflect the repercussions of COVID-19 or revise the previous one. Anything agreed between you, and the construction company should always be put in writing and signed by all parties to secure the contract. Due to social distancing rules, this can be done via email without social contact, so that it is still in writing.
Keeping in Touch
During this period of shutdown and isolation, you can always keep in touch via phone or email. This way, everyone can be updated on how the project is coming along and when more work can resume. Any outstanding invoices should be paid. This is essential to your London builder’s cash flow so that they can stay in good financial shape until they are ready to complete the project in due time. Aside from DIY tasks such as decorating and painting, all other work should be left to your builders in London. It is best not to undertake any tough jobs now yourself, such as structural alterations and any gas or electricity instalments that always need to be done by professionals.