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“Can I still start my house renovation during COVID.19”

Updated: Nov 22, 2020

“How will it work?”

“Will I be left with half a house for months on end?”

The answer is "quite possibly" however with the below steps in place we believe that you can resume, start and complete your, kitchen extension, window replacement or house renovation during this period.

With the Covid 19 situation looking like the new normal, I’m working on new ways, implementing systems to ensure our trades can work and progress our clients' homes. I really believe in the importance of making plans and carring them out on your timelines.

With the government suggesting 2 meters to be the optimal social distance, it was evident that the days of 25 trades all working together are long behind us, we needed a divide and conquer approach.

I’ve put together some practices that we shall be implementing to keep our current sites working and progressing to the all-important goal of completion, whilst keeping everyone safe. To get you living your best lockdown life in your home, the home you have been, saving, planning and waiting for the warmer summer months to start renovating.

Top 4 tips on how to manage your house renovation during COVID.19

Trade entrance

Keeping a social distance from the workers within your home will prove difficult. However by creating a separate trade entrance for builders, electricians and other essential trades DIRECT contact is avoided.

The perfect solution would be a side return gate entrance that has direct access to the rear of your house where the works are taking palace. Erect a gazebo at the front of your side return gate that will act as the site PPE office and sanitation station.

.Set up a sanitizing area within the office, trades can sanitize hands and small handheld equipment.

.Create clearly labelled PPE equipment boxes, before entering the site each member of the team has the space to prepare correctly with mask and gloves.

. Designate a sealed box for “used” PPE, empty at the end of each day and be sure to keep the box sealed when not in use.

This gazebo area works similar to the full-body security scanners at an airport, one in, one out (without the need to remove your shoes and belt) each trade will be asked to arrive within 10 minutes of each other to avoid large gatherings in the gazebo.

Supply chain

Obtaining the building materials you need, when you need them I believe will continue to be an issue for the next 18 months. Getting around this issue will require sourcing with military precision on the build schedule but entirely possible. Working with your builder draft a list of materials, tools and fitted products you will need to complete the project in its entirety. This should then be ordered and stored on site. I completely understand that storing these materials is no easy task with space at a premium In our homes. The solution comes in the form of storage containers that are delivered to your site and sit on the driveway or garden area. As each item is loaded into the container an inventory is created and updated daily as it’s used. The full inventory should remain in the container for reference at any point during the build.

Isolating and ventilating the working area

If you are considering a full kitchen replacement, this is a fairly simple exercise in the current climate as most kitchens will have a back door or access to the outside. If possible I would clear the kitchen of all items needed for daily life eg; kettle, toaster, crockery, cutlery and microwave. I would then set up an F1 style pit stop kitchen within your living room or dining room. A small trestle table can act as a makeshift kitchen worktop housing all the elements to survive without a kitchen for a period of time. If your living room has garden access via a window or external doors make use of your bbq over this period.

The entranceway from your kitchen to the hallways should then remain sealed until the project concludes, this will allow the installers to work with rear ventilation and away from the family in the house. No cause for close daily contact.

Site zoning

Site zoning is a system that only really works in properties that are uninhabited. One of our sites is a three-story townhouse and is completely empty but the work permits multiple trades. Deploying a zoning system, where each trade works in their space for the allotted time. Once complete the space is ventilated and touchpoints sanitized ready for the next trade to start work. we have implemented the ruling of only 5 people on one floor at any one time. Its an idealistic approach and in practice I'm not sure how this will work. However, it’s one solution to keep the project moving.

I'm really hopeful that the above measures will help keep our trades safe and our sites moving. As a nation, we have lost the ability to plan, to put our hopes and dreams into motion. To make plans and execute them to our timelines. If you are embarking on a home renovation I believe the above should give you peace of mind to push on and make your hard work a reality.

That’s all folks! I really hope you found the piece interesting, and as always I’m happy to answer any further questions you may have or head over to email – emma@EmmaMerryStyling .All images & mood board copyright are owned by Emma merry styling except where noted. Please make sure you credit and link/tag if you use them. Thank you x

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