What should I do if I’m halfway through a renovation project?

Most of us have had to cancel or postpone plans because of the coronavirus outbreak and for lots of people this has impacted building work, too.

But where has the current situation left people halfway through a renovation project and what should they do now?

The key question is whether the renovation work is essential. If any outstanding work is non-essential, it should be postponed until it’s safe to restart.

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) recently announced that only emergency and critical construction work should be allowed to carry on as normal.

Plus, if you’re in Scotland, the Scottish government announced on 6th April that all non-essential building work should stop.

READ MORE: Government issues coronavirus advice for movers

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government have said the following about essential repairs:

“Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople carrying out repairs and maintenance, can continue, provided that the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms.

“No work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded, unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household, such as emergency plumbing or repairs, and where the tradesperson is willing to do so. In such cases, Public Health England can provide advice to tradespeople and households.

No work should be carried out by a tradesperson who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild.”

If your home renovation project had already started, and for example, the half-finished work poses a security risk to your home, then it could be deemed essential for work to take place to have it shut down safely and securely for now until it can continue at a later stage.

Talk to your builder about whether it’s even practical or possible for this to happen as they will be following the latest industry guidance.

You should also check what your contract says about altering the schedule of work or what would happen if you decide to cancel (e.g. any financial penalties).

READ MORE: Inside the five most-viewed homes of 2020 so far

But remember that construction workers are going through a tough time, too, so try to be as patient and as flexible as you can. They may need to self-isolate themselves, for example.

The best thing to do in situations such as these is to maintain a good relationship and clear communication with your builders as compromises will likely need to be made.


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