Is It Safe To Improve My Home During Social Distancing?
If you’ve been spending your lockdown dreaming of improving elements of your home you may be wondering if it is safe to improve your home during social distancing. This article aims to re-assure you that home improvements can be carried out safely and highlights the latest advice and information to help you plan your home improvements during social distancing.
What type of home improvements are safe?
Some home improvements are safer than others because most of the work is done outside.
To minimise the risk of tradesmen bringing coronavirus infection into your home, projects like conservatories, extensions, or garden rooms can be completed with very little if any access to the house.
If you want to refurbish your conservatory by replacing the roof or window frames and doors, this can also be done without access to the inside of the house. If you are desperate for more space this is great news as any risk of infection can be reduced by keeping the workmen outside and social distancing in the garden when you need to talk.
With other projects, such as new bathrooms, windows, and doors, access to the house will be required, so you will need to put in place hygiene and social distancing measures around the house while the work takes place. You will need to define a work area that should be cleaned at the end of every day and keep household members away from the work area to minimise the risk.
Like everyone who is going back to work, tradesmen have adapted their working practices to ensure the safety of homeowners by increasing hygiene and implementing social distancing practices. Your Ultraframe installer will explain their procedures before any work takes place, but if you are not happy with the risks, they will understand and may offer you a later build date if necessary.
What social distancing and hygiene measures should I expect?
Quotation and Design Process:
The sales process may be quite different as initial consultations may take place using video. It’s fairly easy to show someone around your home and describe what you need using a smartphone and many of the finer details and design options can be discussed using the screenshare function in apps like zoom.
Most home improvement projects cannot be started until a full survey and measure has been completed. This can usually be done from outside, but to avoid any contamination, you will be asked to avoid the area for 3 days before and 3 days after the survey.
Before the build starts you may be asked whether you have coronavirus symptoms, are self-isolating, or shielding. If the answer is yes, your installer will likely suggest delaying the build.
During the build, you will not be expected to provide refreshments and tradesmen will not use your toilet facilities like they usually do. For longer projects, you may be asked to provide a temporary external toilet and washing facility.
If dust sheets or floor coverings are needed, you should expect these to be new or freshly laundered and tradesmen may use PPE and hand sanitiser before entering your property.
At the end of every day, the work area should be cleaned down using clean cloths or wipes with disinfectant.
Once you build is complete, any guarantees and paperwork should be sent electronically or by post to avoid infection being passed via paperwork.
Top Tips to help you stay safe
Once you’ve taken the plunge and you have an install or build date, what can you do to keep your family safe as the work is done?
1. Be very clear on where your builder and tradesmen are allowed. Define a small area of your home as their work area and keep the rest of the family out of that area.
2. Ensure that the team sanitise the work area at the end of each day.
3. Designate an entry point for workers and if possible use a different entrance for you and the family a few days before, during, and a few days after the build.
4. If workmen ask to use the toilet, ensure there is plenty of hand sanitiser and soap for their use. Clean the room at the end of everyday.
5. Don’t be tempted to make them tea! Builders and installers should bring their own refreshments
6. Always maintain a social distance between you and the workmen.
7. Try to avoid the work area for a few days after work is completed to ensure that if there was any coronavirus it has disappeared.
There’s never been a better time to improve your home, especially if you've been taking the time to plan and research during the lockdown. We’re all going to be spending more time in our own homes in the future, and today, investing in expanding your home will be more rewarding than a holiday or car this year.
Social distancing and hygiene are routine across the building and fenestration industry and companies are operating within COVID safe government guidelines to keep everyone as safe as possible. Like everything currently, there is always an element of risk, but we hope this article has provided you with some reassurance.
Contact an Ultraframe Installer today about your project and ask about their social distancing and hygiene practices.