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Coronavirus: How to have work done safely in your home

Last updated: 14th December 2021

As COVID-19 continues to affect our lives, it’s still incredibly important that we all work together to stay safe and healthy. Here is the latest government advice brought together with our top tips to help you protect yourself and any tradespeople carrying out work for you.

Country-specific coronavirus rules

ENGLAND

As we respond to the new risks posed by the Omicron Covid variant, the Prime Minister has confirmed a move to ‘Plan B‘ restrictions.

At Rated People, we’re making sure you are kept up to date on all the latest rules and guidance set out by the government so you and your family can stay safe as you continue to have work done in your home.

Plan B guidance: Construction and other outdoor work

Most legal restrictions regarding work being conducted in your home have been lifted in England since 19th July 2021, meaning tradespeople can carry out work in your home if you, they, and everyone in both of your households are well and have no coronavirus symptoms.

The tradesperson should also follow the COVID-Secure guidance for businesses where possible, including leaving doors open to let fresh air in and limiting the number of workers within a confined space. Daily lateral flow testing is also being urged, particularly for those entering a high-risk setting, where people will be present who you wouldn’t normally meet.

This guidance was updated by the government on 12th December 2021.

SCOTLAND

On the 19th July 2021, Scotland moved to protection level 0. This means that tradespeople can carry out work in your home as long as you, they and everyone in both of your households are well and have no coronavirus symptoms.

With the emergence of the new Covid variant, Omicron, as of the 10th of December 2021, the Scottish government has updated their guidance for businesses and workplaces. The Scottish government website states that: “employees and employers need to strengthen compliance with current protections and make an extra effort to do so from now through the festive period and into January”.

The tradesperson must follow the guidance on working in homes safely. This includes wearing a face covering, keeping reasonable distance from individuals in a household and taking daily lateral flow test if mixing with other people. See the updated guidance on ‘precautionary measures’.

WALES

From August 7th, 2021, Wales is at alert level 0, meaning “there are no legal limits on the number of people who can meet, including in private homes, public places or at events. In addition, all businesses and premises may be open”.

Tradespeople can carry out work in your home, as long as it can be done safely and they, you and your respective households are well and have no coronavirus symptoms. A tradesperson must also follow all the reasonable measures and the guidance on working in other people’s homes.

The government has recommended that no work is carried out in a household where someone is isolating, unless it is to repair a fault or to carry out an adaptation to allow you to stay in your property. If this is the case, additional precautions should be taken to keep both you and the tradesperson completely separate from each other. Public Health Wales can advise you in these specific cases.


Hiring a tradesperson safely during the coronavirus pandemic

Taking a photo of water coming through the ceiling
Use our Chat feature to send a photo or video of the problem

Try to cut down on unnecessary face-to-face contact as much as possible – we’ve advised our tradespeople to do the same. You can do this by:

  • Sending a photo or video of the problem that needs fixing to the tradesperson. Many tradespeople have let us know that they’re happy to use these to provide an accurate quote, just remember to send as much detail as you can alongside them.
  • Being supportive if the tradesperson needs to reschedule your appointment because they’ve developed coronavirus symptoms, like:
    – Runny nose
    – Headache
    – Sneezing
    – Sore throat
    – Persistent cough
  • Our Protected Payments service is a useful way to pay for work without needing to meet in person, plus your money is protected should the job be delayed – find out more about Protected Payments.

Once you’ve hired a tradesperson, you should keep in contact with them throughout the process. Let them know if you or anyone in your household is ill – the tradesperson should do the same so work can be rescheduled if needed. You can send messages to them using our Chat feature, which you can access within our Rated People Homes app or through our website. Read more about it on our Homeowner help page.

The shielding programme has now ended in England. This means that people who were previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) will not be advised to shield in the future or follow specific national guidance.

Covering furniture with a sheet
Remove or cover items yourself so a tradesperson doesn’t need to touch them

Preparing for a job

There are steps that you can take to create a safe working environment in your home, such as:

  • Keeping in touch with the tradesperson. Let them know if you’re part of a more vulnerable group, for example you’re elderly or pregnant, so that they can put any additional protective measures in place before visiting you.
  • Not allowing work to go ahead if you, or anyone in your household, displays any symptoms of coronavirus.
  • Agree how the work will be done safely before the tradesperson arrives.
  • Clearing the room if necessary. For example, if you’re having a room painted, remove any furniture that could be in the way and take photos down from the walls, if possible. This will reduce the amount of contact that the tradesperson has with your possessions.
  • Stocking up on biodegradable/recyclable paper cups and plates for the tradesperson to use.
  • Making sure that hand washing facilities are available. Our tradespeople are being very vigilant by washing their hands with soap and water and using hand sanitiser regularly.

We’ve also advised our tradespeople to bring protective products on jobs, such as tissue, hand sanitiser and a plastic bag to dispose of used tissues.

Keeping safe whilst work’s taking place

Whilst the tradesperson’s in your house, it’s important that you:

  • Let them know where they can wash their hands as soon as they come into your house.
  • Minimise physical contact, for example by avoiding handshakes.
  • Although there is not mandatory social distancing in place in the UK, we’d suggest maintaining a distance wherever it’s possible.
  • Have the windows open if you can – this helps clean air to keep circulating throughout the room.
Coronavirus: Disinfecting a door
Disinfect door handles, handrails, bathroom taps and other surfaces

What to do after the job’s done

Once your home’s been transformed, it’s a good idea to:

  • Disinfect door handles, handrails and any other surfaces.
  • Make sure to let the tradesperson know if you develop any symptoms of coronavirus, so they can take the appropriate precautions for themselves and anyone they’re in contact with.

Can tradespeople still work during the coronavirus pandemic?

The government has advised that tradespeople can work in homes as long as they and anyone in their household have no symptoms. They shouldn’t carry out work in households that are self-isolating. 

Countries may approach the different phases of lockdown differently. This guidance is in line with the UK government’s advice and is being followed in England. See the specific government websites for any differences.

Can I move home during the coronavirus pandemic?

Yes. The government has confirmed that you can move home in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

You can still attend house viewings and estate/letting agents and removal firms can continue to work. However, it is advised that, where available, you take advantage of virtual initial viewings.

What to do if you feel ill, or someone in your household, or someone you have been in contact with is ill:

If you or anyone in your household, or someone you have been in close contact with has tested positive for coronavirus, you will need to take a PCR test as soon as possible and self-isolate. You do not need to self-isolate if:

– You’re fully vaccinated – this means 14 days have passed since your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine given by the NHS. But even if you’re double jabbed, you need to take lateral flow test daily for 7 days if you came in contact with someone infected.
– You’re between 5 and 18.5 years old
– You’re taking part or have taken part in a COVID-19 vaccine trial
– You’re not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

If you live with or have been in contact with someone who may have the Omicron variant, the above does not apply and you will still need to self-isolate for 10 days. If this is the case, track and trace will contact you.   Find out more about when you can stop self-isolation on the NHS website.  

Despite these uncertain times, plenty of home improvement projects are still on track! If you’ve got a job that needs doing, and it’s safe for you to do so, hiring a local tradesperson is a great way to support a small business. You can find a tradesperson near you on Rated People.

Note: This guidance is in line with the UK government’s advice and is being followed in England. See the specific government websites for any differences.

Note: View the UK government guidelines on Gov.uk.

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75 Comments

  1. I believe as non essential work following boris’s announcement today no work should be scheduled for at east the next three weeks.

  2. Due to rain water coming in, posted a request for Insurance estimates, suggesting repair, plus further work could be under 15K
    One response, estimated work just under 10K
    Very disappointed in the response.
    Also personally contacted three companies local to me, 2 didn’t respond at all, and the other, who sounded as if they were working from their kitchen, informed me they didn’t take on insurance work. (Surely it’s as good as money in the bank?)

    1. Hi Martin, due to seasonality and availability, sometimes some jobs posted on Rated People aren’t picked up as quickly as others. You can try updating your job with more information and an adjusted budget, if relevant, to attract more tradespeople. If you still don’t get a response, visit our Ask an Expert section to ask real tradespeople for advice about what more you can do to improve your job post. You can also try posting your job again, at a later date.

    1. Hi Anne, depending on what part of the UK you live in, you may be allowed to hire a window cleaner. Please keep up to date with the guidelines for your area in the ‘country-specific rules’ section right at the top of this blog post, or visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

  3. My flat roof at the front of property
    Wants the tarmac felt replacing.
    It has started cracking at the edges..
    Area 5metre x 1 metre

    1. Hi Peter, post the details of the work you need doing on Rated People, and up to three expert roofers will get in touch with you to provide a quote. You can post your job here.

  4. Unless out door work where no contact is going to happen, so an old lady who has been in lockdown for 3 months should be fine. If children can go to school then surely a gardener would be fine where no visitor have been and full safety wear is worn.

    1. Hi, any tradespeople that you connect with on Rated People should include all their costs in the quote they give you. You can set a budget when you post your job, so the right tradespeople will contact you to quote. Post your job on Rated People here – http://www.ratedpeople.com.

  5. I would highly recomend the most profesional and safe way the plumber who came to see adhered to health and safety rules. He did a most outstanding good job. I would recommend him to anyone as a considerate caring professional worker I found his customer service manner on site most calming. He was most sensative to me and I wish to add that I greatly appreciated all that he did

  6. Hi I need a tv bracket put up for a 50” tv. Plus I need another small job to fix legs into a dryer now on wooden stilts I’m my gatafeZ

    Both need a bit of drilling and no big deal.

    I’m caring for 2 87 year olds, one with cancer. I’d really appreciate some help .
    Lyn

    1. Hi Lyn, post both your jobs on Rated People here, and up to three tradespeople will get in touch to provide you with a quote for each one. If you’re shielding due to coronavirus, then no work should take place in your home unless it’s to fix a direct risk to your household, such as emergency plumbing. Find out more about how to have work done safely in your home here.

  7. Looking for supply and install a glass panel bannister on a small staircase, looking for initial quote. Measurements are as follows:

    86 inches full width
    43.5 height from bottom of stairs
    27 inches height from top of stairs
    Current 10 spindles

    1. Hi Sonia,

      Up to three tradespeople will provide you with a quote when you post your job on Rated People. Find out how to do this here.

    1. Hi Sonia,

      You can post your painting job on Rated People and up to three tradespeople will contact you with a quote. Find out how to do this here.

  8. Just had a dividing partician wall with french doors in the middle. Very good work an excellent job done by Dariusz Grygiel Carpenter. I am very pleased with the finished result. It was just what I wanted.

  9. I would urge people to scrupulously follow the Rated People guidelines for quotes as I had an unfortunate experience. The quote was extremely high and the job was inadequate, taking 10 minutes at most on a flat roof repair. On later examination I was informed by a third party that this can only be termed a temporary repair and certainly not covered by any 10 year warranty. The company have not reappeared nor can they be found.

  10. As my husband and I are both over 80 and living in Wales I think we should wait until things are moe clear. Reading your guidlines I think before embarking on a survey and having work done we need to be extra careful. I will contact you in the near future . Many Thanks

  11. I hired a builder from this site before the lockdown he did some work in my house.but didn’t finish some of the work trying to get in contact with him to get him back to finish. Can’t get a hold of him he has nearly £3000 of us.he is also going to go some work in my garden to. I would like it if you could try to get on touch with me

    1. Hi Ray,

      You can post your job on Rated People and up to three tradespeople will contact you with a quote. Find out how to do this here.

    1. Hi Patrick,

      You can find a tradesperson to install your bathroom door by posting your job on Rated People – here’s some more info on how to do this here.

    1. Hi Jane, I’m sorry to hear about your negative experience. If you’d like to speak to us about your experience, get in touch with our customer service team here.

    1. Hi Brian,

      Great to hear that you had a great experience with your chosen tradesperson! Please take a couple of minutes to leave a rating on their Rated People profile – it will help them to secure future work. Find out how to leave a rating here.

      Thanks,
      Amina

  12. I am looking for a tradesperson who did a realy good job for us last year and we would like him back to do another job on the same lines can’t remember his name so was wondering if you could help me.

  13. Hi, I want to come as a trader. I need more information on this. If I am not satisfied, how can I refuse my membership with you?

    1. Hi Todor, it’s great to hear that you’re interested in joining Rated People! Fill in our enquiry form and our team will give you a call to explain how our service works.

  14. I need a garden make over for a small back garden and I would like some raised flower and veg beds. I don’t need this done until spring time next year but I would like a quote sometime this month.

    1. Hi Pam, you can get an idea of how much your project would cost by asking our community of tradespeople for free – find out how to do this here.

    1. Hi Jackie, a tree surgeon would be best placed to cut down branches for you. You can post your job here to find one near you.

  15. Just had Mick Neylon, electrician to do several small jobs for me. He turned up as and when agreed and did the work quickly and tidied up after. Lovely guy, would definitely recommend him and will use him again,as I have in the past.

    1. Hi S. Fitzgerald, it’s great to hear that you had a great experience with Mick Neylon! If you haven’t already, it would help Mick out a lot if you could leave him a review on his Rated People profile. Find out how to do this here.

    1. Hi Yvonne, you can post your job for free on Rated People and up to three tradespeople will get in touch with you to fix your roof leak. Post your job here.

  16. Hi I recommend Gary Nash Plumber & his partner Mick who made my home cosy & warm I would certainly will call them again.

  17. John from JD roofing. Was very polite and kept me informed of what he was doing. Showed me a photo of one slate which was cracked and had a hole in it. He also confirmed in total he replaced 6 tiles, re rendered top of roof and 2 more ridge tiles on the roof. Cleaned 3 sides of guttering. The price for the who job was good. I would recommend this company to complete any roofing jobs.

    1. Hi Jennifer, thanks for your comment. We do recommend that our tradespeople use protective gear when they’re working inside homes, like a dust mask, in our safety advice. You can find our safety advice for tradespeople here.

  18. Notable missing item: Tradesperson should wear a mask. So should the householder.

    And keep more than 2 metres away if at all possible.

    I think you should also emphasise ventilation more – windows should definitely be open, not “if possible”. The virus builds up in the air and stays there for some time without ventilation.

    It would also be good to remind everyone that a person with no symptoms may still have Covid and can transmit it to others.

  19. I need a Plumber/ Bathroom fitter to replace the shower cubicle & base including waterproof wall panels. Existing shower leaking at the moment.

  20. I wanted an outside water tap fitted and, although I asked for a quote to begin with, only 1 person replied. This was Matt Gumbleton and he did a great job. Whilst he was here I asked him to have a look at my shower and to quote for an electric one to be fitted. He came up with an alternative solution and fitted proper shower taps saving me a lot of money.
    I would highly recommend his work.

  21. Morning, Anglia Water informed me that a rubber washer has perished in my toilet system causing it to leak as l noticed on there graph l was loosing water at night

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