Do you have renovations underway? Here’s what you can and can’t do during the lockdown - Architecture NZ
Do you have renovations underway? Here’s what you can and can’t do during the lockdown

Do you have renovations underway? Here’s what you can and can’t do during the lockdown

Here’s what you need to know about partially completed construction work.

Words by Blair Grant

Now New Zealand is in lockdown for the next four weeks, all non-essential building and construction activity must stop.

For those midway through renovations or a build, this poses a unique problem — how do you live at home safely during the next month or so if your home is a construction site?

Can any building work be carried out during the shutdown?

The only residential building or construction work that can take place during the lockdown is anything that’s required immediately to maintain human health and safety.

The kinds of essential services this covers are things like replacing a hot water cylinder, fixing the only toilet, or repairing a roof or structure where it poses an immediate risk. Basically, anything urgent related to repairing the electrical, gas, water and sanitation infrastructure of your house will be able to be fixed or continue to be installed.

It doesn’t cover those repair jobs you can get by without for a while; finishing the tiling in the bathroom, replacing things that are still working, for example.

So if there’s a job in your home that needs to be completed to maintain your household’s health and safety, then it can most likely go ahead. Those other jobs however, will need to pause for as long as we stay in alert level four.

Your regular builder may not be working during the lockdown, so if you need something repaired that is considered essential, contact them to find out what services they may be able to provide.

Only emergency building work can continue during the lockdown.

How to live safe in a construction site

If your renovations don’t fall under the emergency health and safety exception they’ll have to be put on hold. Perhaps most of your kitchen cabinetry has been ripped out, or some internal walls have been knocked down. What’s the best way to manage living with construction around you?

In many respects, it’s the same as living through a renovation during regular times, with the major difference being you and your family will be spending much more time in the house without work or school to attend. Here’s three key ways to keep your home safe if renovations are underway:

  1. Clean up

Your builders will hopefully have been keeping things tidy on site during their work, but now is a great time to have a clean up of the space. Not only will you potentially be able to make use of any partially-completed areas, you’ll also minimise the risk of spreading the mess further.

If your kitchen is half-constructed, for example, but you still need to use parts of it even if they’re incomplete, clean any dust or construction waste out of the area, and cover the parts you can’t use with a tarp.

   2. Make use of the microwave

If you’re halfway through a kitchen renovation, the chances are you’ve already organised alternative cooking arrangements. 

If you have a gas cooker you’ll be able to cook more or less as normal. If you don’t, however, giving your microwave some attention can be a good way to go. There are many great microwave recipes that will tide you over until your kitchen is completed after the lockdown.

   3. Make sure children understand the no-go areas

If you have kids, make sure they know which parts of the house are off limits. Given that you’ll all be spending more time at home, there will likely be times during the day where unsupervised play will take place and you want to be safe in the knowledge they’re avoiding any potential hazards. 

With more time on your hands, take the chance to browse through Archipro’s Projects and Products — get inspired, and find the perfect products for your renovation or build when the alert level drops.

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