Can renovation work restart now?

The government has given the green light for home moves to restart across England,
and this is big news if you’re planning – or have started – a renovation project.

The new guidelines include advice for tradespeople heading back to work, and how you as a homeowner can accommodate tradespeople in your property. Here, we’ve broken down the advice so that if you’re planning a renovation project, or are preparing to restart a renovation, you know how to keep everyone in your property safe.

Can renovation work go ahead?

Yes, renovation work can restart – but only providing you and the tradespeople you’re using can comply with the government’s strict social distancing guidelines.

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

This is hugely important. No tradespeople should enter your home if a member of your household is showing symptoms of coronavirus or is self-isolating. Tradespeople should contact you in advance to check this, too. If anybody in your house is self-isolating, all works should be delayed.

What about if the tradesperson is showing symptoms?

Again, no work should be carried out by anyone who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild. It’s worth repeating but make sure you speak to whoever is due to carry out the work ahead of time. If it’s clear that any party is showing symptoms of coronavirus, delay the work until it is safe to do so.

What should I do before (re)starting a renovation?

To give confidence to all parties involved in the renovation that the guidance is being followed, you should be asked to complete a handful of questions before moving forward, such as:

  • Has anyone in your household had COVID-19?
  • Has anyone in your household displayed COVID-19 symptoms or not yet completed a required period of household self-isolation?
  • Are you in the high-risk category?

Tradespeople should also contact you in advance to check that no member of your household is showing symptoms of coronavirus or self-isolating. If that is the case, work should be delayed.

What guidelines should tradespeople be sticking to?

Firstly, all tradespeople should follow the follow the government’s ‘safer working’ guidance, which you can find here.  Communication is key and bosses should ensure their employees understand how to work safely. Workers should also share their new safety measures with you, too.

More specifically, 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
  • seek to minimise contact with you as the homeowner 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 you should ensure they have access to hand washing facilities, using separate towels or paper towels if possible, which should be washed or disposed of safely afterwards

What other precautions can I take as a homeowner?

When a tradesperson is at your home, you should maintain social distancing, wash your hands regularly and minimise contact as far as possible, for example by staying in another room to where the work is happening. You should also leave all internal doors open to minimise any unnecessary contact with door handles. You should ask any tradesperson working in your home to remove all waste and belongings from their work area at the end of a shift and at the end of a job. You should also ask tradespeople to clean down the surfaces in the room or rooms they have been working in at the end of each shift.

Should tradespeople wear a face covering while in my home?

According to the latest government guidelines, wearing a face covering is optional and is not required by law, including in the workplace. If it is something that you feel strongly about, you should speak to the tradesperson you’re using before they start or resume work at your property. If he/she/they choose to wear one, however, it is important that they wash their hands before putting them on and taking them off.