ePrivacy and GPDR Cookie Consent by Cookie Consent Can you start construction during a lockdown?

Can you start construction during a lockdown?

Lockdown has halted many of our plans, but are we still allowed to start construction on our home project?

3 min read

You’ve worked with an architect, secured planning permission, and even ironed out those building regulation details. Then, just as you’re looking to start construction, the UK goes into another lockdown. Where does this leave you?

Whether you’re renovating, extending, or building from scratch, here’s what you need to know about building in 2021

Can I build during the lockdown?

Short answer: yes.

In all parts of the UK, the construction industry is allowed to continue work during the lockdown period. This not only refers to builders but extends to all tradespeople, such as surveyors, plumbers, and structural engineers.

There are guidelines on how work must be carried out onsite, in order to keep those involved safe during the process. In England, these safety measures are…

  • All workers must maintain social distancing, wherever possible, both onsite and during travel.
  • Where 2 metres distance isn’t possible, workers can be 1 metre apart, providing risk mitigation is in place.
  • Risks can be mitigated by increased hand washing, surface cleaning, and keeping activity times as short as possible.
  • Firms are also advised to reduce the number of people each person has contact with by keeping workers to fixed teams/partners.

All construction companies are advised to follow these guidelines, however, others may choose to go even further to protect both their staff and yourself.

Protecting your home during COVID-19

In both lockdown and during less eventful times, you should always thoroughly vet any potential contractors in order to properly protect your home.

Resi recommends that you always…

  • Check their finances
  • Protect yourself with the right payment plan
  • Consult their references yourself
  • Make sure they have the right insurance in place
  • Be cautious of vague quotes, always ask for details
  • Ask if this is someone you could have a good working relationship with

Learn more about choosing the right builder for you here.

Alongside these standard vetting steps, we recommend going the extra mile and consulting with your builder what their COVID-19 precautions are. You not only want to make sure they’re committed to following safety guidelines but that they have contingency plans in place for potential delays.

The construction industry may still be in action, but it would be reasonable to still expect setbacks. Many suppliers will be affected by the pandemic, so getting hold of materials can take longer than usual. Likewise, even with strict safety measures, your onsite team may still contract the virus or have to self-isolate due to exposure. Therefore, with so many new risks, you want to make sure the contract you have in place protects you in these instances.

Funding your project

Speaking of delays, let’s talk money. If you’re not using a big pot of savings to fund your project (here’s why that’s not always such a good idea) you’ll probably need a loan to cover the cost of construction.

Because of COVID, changes in what’s available on the market, and a rush of homeowners looking to take advantage of the stamp-duty discount, many lenders are experiencing delays. It’s not uncommon, at the moment, for it to take significantly longer for a remortgage to come through.

For this reason, if you’ve been putting off your financial paperwork, now is the time to get the ball rolling.

How Resi can help...

When it comes to bringing your project to life, Resi provides two unique services to keep your home protected.

Resi Finance: our team of in-house brokers work closely with you (and your Resi designer) to define what budget you’ll require, before helping you navigate financing your project. We have access to over 90 lenders to ensure you get the right advice. Not only this, when it comes to building your home, our advisors scout out the right insurance so you’re protected now and in the future.

See how much you could borrow with Resi Finance.

Connect: our team can introduce you to specialists in your area, from builders to interior designers. We vet contractors by assessing them against a range of criteria amongst which are: whether or not they are Trustmark or FMB affiliated, whether they have the relevant insurances in place; an assessment of their past work; meeting minimum financial standards; and finally, references from both previous customers and trade.

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