The world appears to have actually been turned upside-down in the last couple of weeks, so here is our guide to getting work carried out in these crazy times. There are basically 2 or potentially 3 components to addressing the concerns about “How to Get Home improvement Work Done During Lockdown”:
Can you get a tradesperson?
Can you get the materials needed for the work? And, if required can you work with the plant or tools needed? We’ll take a look at each of these concerns in turn– and it is not as straightforward as you might believe!
Can You Get a Tradesperson to Work for you During Covid19 Lockdown?
It is not clear whether builders and tradespersons should be or are “enabled” to be working during the lockdown In Scotland the scenario is less unclear, as all building and construction work has been halted.
The English guidance is that “important work” can continue so long as social distancing procedures are taken. Michael Gove, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said that jobs “crucial to the nation and to the life of the economy need to continue to work” and that “intimate contact in someone’s home” such as when performing remodelling or repair work would be “improper”.
Government Guidelines in a Nutshell
- Only continue work in people’s homes if it is essential repairs or upkeep
- 2m Social Distancing guidelines and hand cleaning must be performed
- Employees must stop if they or members of their family have signs
- Automobiles need to be ventilated and frequently cleaned up particularly between operators
- Workers on websites should be kept to a minimum, specifically in confined areas
- Touch points require to be cleaned up often, and products need to be dealt with by the minimum variety of staff members
- Others have actually translated the guidelines as that if you can comply with the procedures set out specifically for construction works then it is possible to return to work. This looser interpretation is harder to see applied appropriately to operate in your home (unless emergency work), but it is more reasonable on bigger site and exterior.
If you have an emergency situation and needs to get somebody in to assist you, we suggest that you take extra care as, since they are continuing to work, they will have had far more contact with other individuals than other tradespeople who are locked down. This does make them a greater danger as we understand that coronavirus symptom may disappoint for up to a week or more even if they have contracted the virus. If it is an emergency, then needs must.
Precautions When Having Work Done in Your Home
We recommend that you:
- Confirm that they do not have symptoms which in the last 14 days they have not enter contact with someone who has signs
- Supply hand washing centers for them to use prior to entering your residential or commercial property
- Ensure that you preserve all the suggested social distancing standards, and leave them to work alone as much as possible
- Don’t provide them tea and coffee. They are really unlikely to be upset, they will understand and be grateful of your understanding that this dangers transferring the infection, so do not take the threat
- Keep their working area to the tiniest possible area, and clean all touch points when they have left
- While there is no conclusive recommendations, you may find it assuring if they were to wear a mask while in your house (however remember that PPE products are being prioritised to NHS workers).
- Protective facemask
- Wearing masks is not currently needed– however it might be reassuring!
- There are building particular standards that have been prepared by the Construction Leadership Council, which are a really helpful guide.
If you can wait– wait. If it can not, then you can discover a tradesperson here, however be prepared to wait a little bit longer than normal.
Doing it yourself– where to get the products
If you can find someone that is prepared to perform the work it will be challenging to get the materials promptly. And it will be even harder if you wish to get them yourself as you will not have access to trade accounts which most tradespeople will have.
The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) have actually published a list of their members who have responded to a survey inquiring if they are open, and if so whether there any limitations on service. This covers a lot of the local and smaller merchants. You can see this list here.
The large majority of contractor’s merchants are either closed or partially closed, using restricted service, although as time goes on increasingly more are opening albeit with constraints. We have actually discovered that many are just serving clients with existing trade accounts, and even then you need to have a delivery or come to collect during a recommended collection time.
This technique resembles the nationwide DIY Sheds. B&Q and Wickes are limiting access to their websites, often for over an hour. When you have the ability to get on to their site you are provided a restricted range although this appears to be relaxing fast.
You can get shipment, but they are at discomforts to explain that this is likely to be postponed due to extraordinary need. Or you can use a click and collect service from outside the shops or with a “contactless collection procedure”.
Jewsons have closed all branches and are using a shipment service to trade accounts from restricted branches just. When buying (by email just) you are needed to justify that the work is necessary, and they will just deliver to sites which are deemed vital by the government.
Travis Perkins also are only delivering to necessary websites. If your website satisfies the noted requirements you can buy a delivery by phone or e-mail.
Homebase have actually closed all their stores, however are continuing to offer shipments, although they are at pains to point out that these will likely be delayed due to the high demand.
DIY Doctor Toolstore – Our own tool store is now open once again, having actually closed while we organised which items we could offer. Like all other sellers we will have longer and more unforeseeable delivery times, partly due to demand, but also as we are limited by following the social distancing guidelines which will slow our selecting and packing activities. You can browse our range of tools here.
Returns and Damaged Items
Many stores are not running a complete returns service for damaged or unwanted items, so it deserves buying thoroughly. In-store returns, where stores are open, are not readily available or severely limited. This does mean that in a lot of cases refunds are not being processed.
For our tools keep there is no change to the returns policy and procedure, as we do not have a physical shop. All returns need to be posted or couriered back to us, but please contact us if you have any questions.
Tool & Plant Hire
It is a really similar story for tool hire business. HSS have actually closed all but 3 of their stores and are simply running a delivery-only service for essential services. Speedy Hire have actually deserted their 4 hour shipment promise for all other than NHS tasks.
Lots of smaller local hire shops have either closed outright during the lockdown, or are providing a much lower service with longer preparation.
If you do require to work with tools or plant for any vital work you are performing then you will require to call your regional hire shop to verify what they can help you with.
In summary, you should only be getting tradespeople in to help you with vital projects. When it comes to DIY, assuming you are cautious not to hurt yourself thus putting unnecessary pressure on the NHS, it is something that can be done during “lockdown”.
Getting shipments for your DIY Projects is something that can be done if the retailer supports it through their courier network. Getting bulk deliveries of products will be more difficult so tasks that need tonnes of sand, lumber etc. must be delayed till after this crisis.
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