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Home renovation

Renovating During COVID-19: Mistakes to Avoid

2020-05-05T12:00:00

Being at home all day has made many homeowners discover faults in their houses and they are now thinking about renovating. But is it a good idea to renovate during COVID-19? Well, the idea sounds good if you consider these 5 benefits:

  • You have plenty of free time that you can use to search for design ideas online, be it for your living room, home office, bedroom, kitchen, or the dining area.
  • With or without coronavirus, the months of April through June are the most favorable for outdoor renovations.
  • Dumpster rentals have been a great option for waste disposal solutions during these times as they are considered an essential business. You may not be able to renovate but you're always able to improve!
  • COVID-19 has precipitated a low season for many designers, consultants, and builders, so they are offering massive discounts for all building or renovation projects.
  • Several banks around the world have significantly cut official interest rates as a way of stimulating the economy during and after coronavirus. Borrowing costs might never get more affordable than they are right now.

Construction workers, including plumbers, handymen, and electricians in most states and countries are categorized as essential service providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, some construction projects are categorized as non-essential and cannot be approved at this time. You need to confirm whether your planned renovation is essential before spending any money on it. If you get the green light to renovate, try to avoid these 5 costly mistakes:

1. Ignoring Safe Social Distancing Practices

The biggest mistake you can make at the moment is to invite COVID-19 into your household through construction workers. Anyone who comes to your home from outside is a potential positive case that must be avoided by everyone self-isolated or quarantined in the home. Ensure that the following social distancing practices are adhered to throughout the renovation process:

  • Only allow the least possible number of workers on the site at any given time. If one worker can do the job, you shouldn’t allow them to bring the company. If they must be 2 or more, ensure that they work with two-meter distance between them.
  • Only allow workers who come by car or van. If a worker can only use public means, maybe it is best to postpone the renovation.
  • If a worker has any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, ask them to go home and quarantine for 14 days.
  • Don’t allow the workers to come into any form of contact with your family (or anyone who lives with you). Request the workers to minimize their contact with surfaces around the home, apart from the ones they will be working on.
  • Anyone accessing your property should wash their hands at the gate. In fact, you should not shake hands with any of them.

washing hands to practice good hygiene during covid-19

2. Hiring Builders Without Public Liability Insurance

The constructors you hire need to have valid Public Liability insurance, which you need to include in the terms and conditions of the contract you sign with them. Allowing builders to start your project without such cover is a big risk to take, especially during a pandemic.

3. Ordering Construction Materials in the Last Minute

Most supply chains have collapsed, so you need to consider the possibility of stock shortages in your nearest stores. Not all hardware items will be on shelves a week from now. Your city can even be placed on total or partial lockdown any day. Anything can happen during these certain times, so you need to do what you need to do when you get the chance. Don’t procrastinate.

4. Avoid Undertaking Any Major Work Yourself

Unless it is a minor painting or decorating project, please leave it to qualified and accredited individuals. Don’t assume that because you are idle at home, it is okay to make minor structural alterations or electricity installations. Note that there are Building Regulations to be satisfied for the building to be approved for resale. Hire a siding contractor for your planned home remodeling, no matter how many DIY videos you have watched online. You still aren’t a professional.

5. Investing in Expensive Renovations

The global economy is deteriorating by the day which means jobs could be compromised if things don’t turn for the better. It is unwise to withdraw a substantial portion of your savings or to take an unreasonably huge home equity loan before you are sure that your financial future is guaranteed.

Conclusion

The safety and health of everyone involved with your project should come first in every renovation decision you make. Also, whatever happens during the renovation, ensure that the builders and your family members are kept in the loop. Be honest and clear in all your communications.