Remodelling your home
Spills, scuffs, scratches and dents… sometimes it can feel like you do up one part of your home only to damage another in the process. But with a bit of planning, most of the issues you might have when remodelling your home can be avoided.
You'll want to protect your floor from things being dropped and spilled on it, and from dirt and dust. Anything you can use is good: polythene, old bits of carpet, old sheets, cardboard or hardboard. You can get rolls of protective film which you roll out and which stick to the floor automatically – like an enormous roll of sellotape. You can get these for both carpets and hard floors, and can also use them to protect worktops, cabinets, doors, mirrors and baths – hardware stores like Screwfix will have them. The film will stick better to a clean floor, and you might appreciate a hand while laying it. Choose one that won't leave a sticky residue, and which is flame-retardant.
You can also get more heavy-duty protectors if, for example, the builders are going to be using machinery, or plastic sheets which you can cut to size to fit over objects. Newly-laid wooden floors will need a protector that stops them getting damp, called a breathable protector.
You should box up anything you don't want to have to dust – small objects, pictures, books, even small pieces of furniture – and put it in another room while the work is being done. The same goes for anything breakable or which might get knocked, both in the area where the work is taking place, and along the route the workmen will be using if they’re coming through your house. Good workmen will obviously do their best to be careful, but accidents happen.
Depending on how much dust the work is likely to generate, either cover everything else with dust sheets, or use a professional dust barrier like Zipwall or Zipdoor.
You’ll need to think about any access difficulties there might be, and discuss these with your builders or architect before work starts. Can lorries and diggers get to your home? Where will the workmen park and unload bulky equipment? If you're having an extension built at the back of your house, how will they get into your back garden? In the nicest possible way, if the builders have to constantly come through your house it will make neither your life nor theirs easier, so you might want to ask your neighbours if you can temporarily remove some fence panels or use their land for storage.
South east London architects Bluelime Home Design has been working on home improvement projects across south London and Kent for 13 years, from home extensions and loft conversions to complete new builds and renovations. As well as working with you on the designs, we can apply for planning permission for you if you need it, and manage the construction work. We have offices in Dartford, Bromley, Erith, Bexley and Croydon – call 01322 517632 to find out about the architectural services we offer or to arrange a free architect consultation.