During 2020, many of us have spent more time in our homes than ever before. This has meant that huge numbers of homeowners have made plans for home improvement projects such as conservatories and extensions.
The good news about home improvements during lockdown 2.0
Guidance from the UK Government from the official gov.uk website is that home improvements such as conservatories and extensions can continue during lockdown 2.0. The specific wording from the Government website which states that home improvements can continue during lockdown 2.0 is:
- Stay at home - This means you must not leave or be outside of your home except for specific purposes. These include:
- for work purposes, where your place of work remains open and where you cannot work from home (including if your job involves working in other people’s homes)
Safety measures for home improvements during lockdown 2.0
Installers and builders of conservatories, extensions, and other related home improvement projects have now been working within covid safe guidelines for around 8 months. This means that they are very familiar with how to keep their customers and themselves safe during these worrying times.
Conservatories and extensions are some of the safest home improvement projects you can undertake during lockdown 2.0. This is because the majority of the work can be done without the need to enter your home. If you have already arranged for your home improvement project to start soon or if you are in the planning process now, ask your installation company to explain their covid procedures to you.
If there are any elements of their covid procedures for home improvements during lockdown 2.0 that you are not comfortable with, speak to your installer. They will work with you to find a solution that makes everyone involved in the project as safe as possible.
Each company will have thorough guidelines to ensure the safety of its customers during lockdown 2.0. Typical measures might include:
Quoting and designing conservatories and extensions in lockdown 2.0:
Many home improvement companies are now using video technology to carry out appointments to design your dream conservatory or extension. This means the design and quote process can be done without visiting your home. They will be able to discuss with you beforehand the best way to do this and help you to set up any technology needed on your phone or computer.
Surveying a conservatory in lockdown 2.0:
The next step in the conservatory/extension process is the survey. This is when a surveyor will carry out a full measure of the proposed site of your new conservatory, as well as exploring any details about the site which may impact on the design. The majority of the survey takes place outdoors.
However, for the limited time that the surveyor needs to come into your home, they will advise of measures needed such as social distancing. They may also advise quarantining the area for several days before/after. These measures will ensure that your survey can safely go ahead during lockdown 2.0.
Building your conservatory/extension during lockdown 2.0:
Having a conservatory or extension built during lockdown 2.0 will be somewhat different to the usual build process. This is due to the various protocols that will be put in place for your safety. Your chosen home improvement company will be able to provide full details on this. Typical measures that would be put in place during the build of a conservatory during lockdown 2.0 include:
• Checking whether you or your family have any covid symptoms or are isolating before the build begins. If so, a new date for your build will be arranged.
• The tradesmen working on your home improvement project during lockdown 2.0 will bring their own refreshments and make their own arrangements for toilet breaks. If your home improvement project during lockdown 2.0 is lengthy, your installer may discuss with you at the outset about arrangements for temporary external facilities.
• Tradesmen working on home improvement projects during lockdown 2.0 will provide all of their own equipment, including things such as dust sheets.
• Tradesmen working on home improvement projects during lockdown 2.0 will wear PPE and sanitise if they do need to enter your home for part of the project.
Once your build is complete, your installer will send any guarantees etc either through the post or electronically. There should not be any need for you to collect these in person during lockdown 2.0.
Guidelines and etiquette for home improvement projects during lockdown 2.0
While your installation company will explain their covid procedures to you before any work begins, it may also be a good idea to have an honest and upfront conversation before your lockdown 2.0 home improvement project begins. Defining guidelines/etiquette will make sure you feel comfortable about the covid safety aspect of your project.
Things to discuss might include:
1. Clear agreed rules about when and how often the tradesmen should sanitise themselves/their equipment.
2. An agreement about the occasions when the tradesmen do need to come into your home – how far ahead should they inform you of this, what PPE would you like them to wear etc.
3. Agreed rules on social distancing for discussions that need to take place during the build - both indoors and outdoors. You might state that if the discussions are indoors that you would prefer for face coverings to be worn.
4. Letting the team of tradesmen know if you will provide sanitiser or if they should bring their own.
5. Agreeing which entrance the tradesmen should use during your lockdown 2.0 home improvement project. If possible, this should be different from the one being used by you and your family.
6. An important point might be to make it clear that they need to bring their own refreshments! Most homeowners are accustomed to making cups of tea for tradesmen working in their home. However, for home improvement projects in lockdown 2.0, this should be avoided.
We hope this article has provided you with some reassurance about home improvements during lockdown 2.0. By working with a reputable Ultraframe Installer who will work to covid safe guidelines, it is possible to minimise the risk to you and your family and get the beautiful living space you desire.
Contact an Ultraframe Installer today about your project and ask about their social distancing and hygiene practices.