Walk down any busy residential street and you are likely to see at least one or two signs of properties undergoing some home renovations. Updating or reconfiguring your home is an immensely popular way to increase the value of your home or radically change your way of life for the better.
Most homeowners decide to undertake the planning and overseeing of home renovations themselves. Saving them some money and allowing them to work towards their exact desired results. It also allows them to ensure that all updates are made in line with a building that works for them and their way of life.
Although this is certainly a great option, homeowners often focus on the aspects of home renovation that excite them. This can mean they neglect essential aspects which they do not find quite as interesting such as site safety and sustainability.
In these cases, safety is often overlooked as it is assumed to only really matter on larger scale projects such as those undertaken by large building firms. However, when it comes to human health and life, nothing can be overlooked. This means it is essential for the average home renovator to have a grip on why safety matters and how to make it work for them.
Safety, why bother?
The first reason the majority of us will think of when we consider safety during renovation is the risk to human health and life. It is the project owners responsibility to ensure that all individuals who visit the site are safe at all times, including any friends, family or builders who are supporting you with the project. Ensuring the site is safe will go a long way to ensuring that nothing will go wrong, leading to someone getting seriously hurt.
Not only is protecting humans important from an ethical point of view, but failing to do so can also have a negative impact on the whole project. In cases where safety is not considered, leading to injury, this will increase labour, machine and potential legal costs. It will also likely lead to an increase in the time it will take to complete the project whilst these issues are taken care of.
Taking care of site safety can make home renovation projects seem more hassle than they are worth. However, with a little consideration, safety can be a much smoother process than it otherwise would be.
Applying project management
Safety should be at the forefront of every good project managers mind right from the outset. For those that are managing their home renovation projects themselves, it is their responsibility to ensure that the site is managed correctly and safety is considered every step of the way.
Good project management will see a comprehensive project plan being created ahead of project kick-off. This plan will outline each and every stage of the renovation. It is best practice to consider safety throughout all of these stages. For example, looking at each stage separately and assessing the potential risks to humans is a good way to catch any potential issues ahead of time.
Safety before all else
When planning your project you will need to decide who is going to be helping you on-site to get the job done. To save costs you may opt to work with friends or family, otherwise you may employ professionals to get the job done to a higher standard.
Whoever you choose to help, you must consider how safe each individual will be on-site. For example, will any friends and family be aware of the potential dangers on-site? Are the builders you choose qualified and certified to undertake the larger, more complex jobs?
To protect your possessions and those working on the site during the renovation process, you may decide to remove the majority of furniture, items and junk from the site before you begin. Make sure you schedule in junk removal and possession storage well ahead of time to prevent starting work on a not-yet-safe site.
Keeping the site secure
When renovations have commenced, keeping all site visitors safe is key. If project management has been executed properly, then this should be a relatively smooth process.
Although planning will limit the majority of issues, of course, we cannot be expected to know exactly what might go wrong every step of the way. Therefore consistent monitoring of the site will allow you to spot new issues.
In these cases, we can ‘plan for the unplanned’. Being able to deal with new issues quickly will make the process smoother. Try keeping some temporary mesh fencing on-site. This will allow you to quickly isolate new, unsafe areas.
This ‘crowd control’ type of fencing is also a good way to block access to the site. This will ensure that no one accidentally makes their way onto the site or enters the site for dubious reasons.
This guide has helped you understand why safety is so important with home renovation projects. By applying everything we have discussed, site safety should be seamless, freeing up your time to focus on getting your home the way you want it.