Having major renovation work carried out on your home is bound to be disruptive. Many people prefer to have such work carried out during the summer months when, if the worst should happen, they can always put a tent up in the garden, or go off on holiday to escape the chaos, but depending on the availability of builders, this is not always possible.
If your home is currently undergoing renovations, whether you are having a new bathroom installed or are getting an extension built, you have probably resigned yourself to several weeks of dust, noise and general disruption, not to mention the constant need to replenish your biscuit barrel for your locust-like builders. These issues would arise whenever you had the work carried out. The autumn and winter months, though, offer unique challenges during renovations.
Home security issues during renovations in autumn and winter
October is National Home Security month, and the folks who run this annual campaign want you to start thinking about how secure your home is, especially now that the nights are getting longer. Did you know that there is a 25% increase in burglaries overall over the autumn and winter months
? The campaign's site
urges people to review their home security measures and ensure that their home is kept locked and alarmed to deter potential burglars.
Home security can be very difficult to achieve when renovations are underway: builders have a tendency to leave doors and windows open and may even create gaping holes in your walls, depending on the nature of the work you are having carried out. Couple an inherently greater risk of burglaries at this time of year with a reduction in your home security caused by your renovations, and you face a greater than average risk of burglary.
As well as reduced security, your home may be of particular interest to burglars during this period because there will be tools and equipment lying around, plus wiring and perhaps new furniture and white goods that are to be installed once the building work is complete. If a burglar thinks that there are items that are easy to steal in a house that is less than secure, they will target your home.
Normally observant neighbours will be quite accustomed to seeing various strangers going in and out of your house and garden as a result of your renovations, and they may be less likely to notice someone entering your property who has no right to do so. A burglar and a builder can look very similar in the gloom and they both carry tools.
Home security solutions during renovations
There are several steps you can take to ensure the safety and security of your property during renovations.
Firstly, you may be tempted to leave a key with your builder so that they can access the property in your absence; if you do so, be very aware that if anything happens to your home by way of damage or theft, your home insurance is very unlikely to be valid
. If this is the most convenient way for you to handle your renovations, then be sure to contact your home insurance company
to inform them – they may increase the premium you pay, or they may say that they will not cover you in those circumstances, but at least you will be clear about your protection.
Even if you are not planning to leave your builders unsupervised, you should contact your home insurance provider to let them know that renovations are taking place
. They may raise your premiums and they may ask to see proof of your builder’s insurance cover, but at least you’ll know that your belongings and property will be covered in the case of fire or theft, for example.
You may consider installing a safe in your property
in which valuables and any cash can be left securely, to prevent opportunistic thefts, but if major renovations are underway, it may be impossible to secure your home. If so, any valuables or expensive items that could be loaded into a van by a burglar will be at risk. Consider placing these items into self-storage
to keep them safe (and also protected from the elements) for the few weeks that your house is less than secure.