Completing Your Next Construction Job

Two mistakes that people often make when attempting to renovate derelict properties

There are specific mistakes which people frequently make when trying to renovate derelict properties. If you plan to take on a project like this in the near future, it's vital to be aware of these mistakes so that you can avoid making them. Continue reading to learn more.

Masking rather than resolving the structural damage identified by their structural engineer

Derelict properties often have a wide variety of structural problems caused by things such as long-term damp, termite infestations and general neglect. These problems may include things such as cracks in parts of a house's framework, damage to the foundation and missing roof rafters.

Many people who buy derelict properties choose to mask, rather than fix the damage that their structural engineers have discovered. This is a serious mistake. The reason for this is as follows; when a structural component of a house has been damaged, it can set off a chain reaction, wherein other components that are connected to that original broken part slowly start to deteriorate.  

For example, if the structural engineer points out that the floorboards in your derelict house have rotted, the fungus that is causing the wood to rot could spread to the joists below the floorboards. If in this situation, you decide to simply cover the rotting floorboards with carpeting, the entire floor system underneath this new carpet will continue to rot.

Eventually, when you move your furniture, appliances and other goods into the property, the floor could cave in under the weight of these items. If this were to happen, not only would your new carpeting be completely ruined, but you would have to spend thousands restoring the caved-in floor. As such, if the structural engineer who has assessed the derelict property you have purchased has identified several structural issues and has recommended that you have these problems addressed, it is important to heed their advice.

Not taking the appropriate safety precautions when participating in the renovation work

Derelict buildings that have been neglected for decades tend to be a lot more hazardous than the average modern house. They may, for example, be infested with rodents (whose excretions can cause diseases), or may be contaminated with mould or asbestos (both of which can cause serious respiratory illnesses). If the framework or flooring systems have developed wet rot, there is also a risk that a ceiling, floor or wall may collapse at any time.

Unfortunately, many people who renovate derelict buildings don't take the right safety precautions to protect themselves from these hazards and thus end up being injured or developing illnesses as a result of participating in the renovation work.

If you intend to undertake this type of project and wish to avoid succumbing to injury or illness, it is important to do what you can to stay safe. This may mean wearing protective clothing, a respirator and a hard hat whilst you work and having any asbestos or rodents removed from the building before you start renovating it.