How to prepare your home for building work

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How to prepare your home for building work

You’re all booked in for your dream extension. Or perhaps you’re having your home gutted out and renovated, top to bottom.

After months of running through architect’s designs, getting quotes from builders and assessing budget, your building work is almost ready to kick off.

From here on in, it’s largely in the builders’ hands. Sadly, however, you’re not quite done. There are still a few odd jobs that require your attention.

As part of our after builders cleaning service, we’ve spoken to loads of people who are prepping for building or renovation work at their home. 

Combining their top tips and our industry expertise, we’ve created a guide designed to help you prepare for upcoming building work or renovation. From dust proofing your home, to organising an after builders cleaner - we’ve got you covered.

How to prepare your home for building work

1. Speak to your insurance provider

Building work and large-scale renovation can have an impact on the structure of your home. It’s essential that you inform your home/content insurance provider about the work in advance. Start by letting them know what you’re planning to have done; they’ll likely ask you some questions about the contractor that you’ve opted to go with and their insurance, and may even suggest you take out joint insurance with the contractor. Be aware that your insurance provider may adjust your insurance payments for the duration of the project and for a period afterwards to cover any risk associated with building work/renovation.

2. Inform your neighbours of the work

Building work and renovation can be noisy and disruptive to your neighbours, particularly if you live in flats or terraced/semi-detached housing. You’ll need to make sure that your neighbours are aware of building work and renovation in advance.

Be completely transparent. Let neighbours know the timeline of work, as well as the expected time that any particularly noisy work will occur. Apologise for any disruption that this will cause, and let them know that your contractors will do everything they can to minimise the impact on neighbours. 

If you live in close proximity to neighbours, it’s possible that dust from the building work could make its way into their property. Advise your neighbours that this could happen, so they have the chance to dust-proof their home in advance. You may also wish to offer to hire them a cleaner at the end of the project to help remove any dust that’s crept in.

Make sure that you first discuss this with neighbours as soon as you know when work will get underway. You should also remind them a couple of days before, and keep them updated of any delays or other changes to the timeline.

3. Confirm requirements with your builder

Before your project gets underway, check in with your builders to see if there's anything that they need you to organise ahead of the project starting. You should have discussed these details when gathering quotes, but if not, double check:

- Whether they need you to organise a skip - if this needs to go on the road, you’ll also need to contact the council to organise a permit
- That they have access to sufficient parking space
- Whether they need you to organise facilities, such as a portaloo

4. Clear the property

Next, you’ll need to think about how you’re going to clear the property. This will, in part, depend upon the scale of work being completed - for instance, if you’re having a kitchen extension, you may be able to stay in other parts of the property throughout building work; if, however, you’re having a full home renovation, this won’t be possible.

Beware that building work creates a huge amount of very fine dust, that often travels further than expected. Initially, it might not seem too hard to live around builders, but people often find this much more challenging than they initially expected. 

If your building work or renovation is only occurring in certain parts of the house, ensure that these rooms are cleared in advance of your builders starting. Everything should be packed up into boxes, and moved to another room. Keep all boxes well away from the building site to ensure they don’t get dusty. Place dust sheets over everything in all areas of the house, including all furniture and any packed up boxes. You should also separate off rooms that are not being renovated with plastic sheets, reinforced at the edges with heavy duty tape. This may seem a little excessive but trust us, you’ll be grateful in the long run.

If you’re having a full house renovation, you will need to pack up everything and move this to a self-storage facility.

5. Organise your after builders cleaning

Once everything is in place and your building work is about to commence, it’s time to think about life in your newly renovated home.

The building work will, no doubt, create a huge amount of dirt and debris. You’ll need professional help before you’re able to enjoy your new space, and this is something that you should be thinking about before your work begins.

It may be difficult to actually book your cleaning before work has begun - the length of building work can be hard to predict and often there are unforeseen delays caused by factors outside of anyone’s control.

You should, however, have gathered quotes, agreed on the service required and chosen a provider before work gets underway. Find out how much notice your service provider generally requires for booking - a week or two is usually plenty of time if you have a little flexibility on when the clean can happen. You can then reach out a couple of weeks before work is completed, when you’ll be fairly confident of a confirmed end date. 

When looking for an after builders cleaning service, there are a few things to consider. You should always shop around, gathering quotes and assessing consumer ratings online. Check for good Google and Trustpilot feedback, and ask friends or family for recommendations. After builders cleaning is a very specific type of deep clean, requiring specialist equipment and professional expertise. Make sure that the service providers you speak to are aware this is an after builders clean, and are happy to tackle that task.

You can find out more about the difference between after builders cleaning and other types of cleaning services, here.

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