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Coronavirus: How Will Lockdown Affect Home Building & Improvement Projects?

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It’s been three weeks since the Government imposed a lockdown across the UK in an attempt to bring a halt to the coronavirus. The lockdown has meant that non-essential travel and public gatherings had to stop, with people only allowed to leave home for exercise, to shop for essentials such as food and medical care or when their work could not be done from home.

These restrictions have affected all of us in one way or another. Many of our customers have already faced weeks of uncertainty surrounding their projects due to the ongoing impact of Coronavirus. We’re three weeks into lockdown and the Government is understandably shying away from providing the public with an official lockdown end date. The current status is uncertain still and for all we know, lockdown procedures could continue for weeks or even months.

How Will Lockdown Affect My Project?

The situation is evolving all the time and depending on where you are based, your project will be affected by different rules. The Scottish Government recently closed down all construction work whereas sites in England and Wales are in principle not required to shut down. That means projects in England and Wales can continue providing the latest guidance is followed. However, the safety and wellbeing of the workers and people involved should be priority.

The messages are a little unclear and perhaps even contradicting if you ask some. Strong ‘stay at home’ messages are communicated across the board from friends, family and trusted associations, and at the very same time the Government has published guidelines that suggest that tradespeople can carry out “essential repairs and maintenance in people’s homes” as long as common sense rules such as regular hand washing are followed.

Impact of Lockdown on Home Building & Improvement Projects Amid Coronavirus Crisis

Can Tradesmen Work On My Home Building Project During Lockdown?

The answer to that question is a careful ‘yes’, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the number of rules and guidelines set in place are numerous. Also, for your own health and safety, you may want to consider waiting a couple of weeks until the risk is lowered.

What Are Tradesmen Allowed To Do On A Home Building Project During Lockdown?

To simplify when tradesmen can carry out any works on a home building project we’ve created the following guide with key rules to bear in mind.

  • Only tradesmen that are not showing any symptoms or living in the same household as someone showing symptoms should carry out any works.
  • Only works that are considered to be essential repairs and maintenance should be carried out.
  • Common sense rules such as social distancing and regular hand washing should be complied with at all times.
  • No works should be carried out in a household where individuals are self-isolating, unless the work is to remedy a direct safety risk.
  • Limit the number of tradesmen on site at the same time.
  • Reduce the number of times materials are in contact with workers.

From your standpoint, you can make sure that social distancing is complied with by ensuring that only one type of trade is on site at a time. If you’re renovating, you will not need a window installer on site at the same time as an electrician. This may extend the timeframes of your project, but to ensure the safety of all involved it’s your best option.

The Government has not provided a definition of what building works are classed as essential so it’s really quite difficult to know whether your project falls into this category. Hayley Lorimer, director of the Federation of Master Builders explained in more detail: “Any work that is required to achieve a secure and weather-proof site with materials safely stored counts as critical work and can be carried out, whilst taking all possible precautions as per NHS advice. This includes ensuring that any heating systems are working, and dealing with any issues of water ingress.”

Many of the installers and builders that Quickslide work with have decided to close down until further notice. This indicates that even if you do wish to carry on with your project, sourcing a tradesman to carry out the works could be a challenge in itself.

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Leave The Works To The Professionals

No matter how tempting it is to crack on with your project and to carry out any works yourself, you’re better off being patient. Wait for a professional to be available to carry out the works to the high standards that they have been qualified and trained to achieve.

Sourcing Building Materials

Most suppliers including Quickslide are still operating a full sales service including project advice, quoting and ordering. So even if you can’t get your materials right now you can spend your time in lockdown preparing for when things return to normal. You can place your windows and doors orders now to ensure they are first in line for when production re-opens. There’s no reason to extend your project timeframes more than you absolutely have to.

Read our full windows buying guide and doors buying guide to explore our ranges in more detail.

For materials that aren’t bespoke or made to measure you may be able to place your orders online and get them delivered to site.

Please note, our news articles are relevant and accurate at the time of release, but as technical developments dictate, and times goes by the information in this article may no longer be applicable. If you have questions, please contact us using our online contact form or call us on 03332 412 240.

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