Keeping an income while completing maintenance work
05 December 2018
Maintaining heritage buildings is a must to future proof the properties but can be costly. In this article we look at the key considerations, challenges and opportunities when completing maintenance.
Why is routine maintenance of heritage properties important?
- listed building consent
- planning permission
- availability of materials and specialist labour skills associated with the work being undertaken.
What challenges do heritage owners face when contemplating maintenance?
- access to skilled resources
- environmental implications.
How can heritage owners close any funding gaps to cover ongoing maintenance?
- offering annual memberships
- heritage open days
- hiring for events
- renting space for commercial or residential uses.
What are the key considerations when undertaking building maintenance works?
- Ensure you have suitable method statements and Risk Assessments from contractors ensuring safe systems of work are agreed and adopted for the duration of planned works. Where applicable, contractors should follow the Joint Code of Practice on Fire Safety on Construction Sites and contractors should be carefully supervised for their own safety as well as that of employees, visitors and other users.
- Any impact on the effective performance of existing fire detection and compartmentation, how waste from the works will be safely managed and how any hot works will be managed.
- Changes to existing security arrangements to reflect additional risks introduced by building and maintenance works such as scaffolding and ladders. Are they erected and secured correctly, using robust hoarding to a suitable height to restrict access? Agree how any ladders will be secured when not in use to prevent them being used to gain unauthorised access to the property. Ensure access of third party contractors working onsite is controlled, restricting them to defined work areas to reduce the risk of damage or loss to any collections located elsewhere in the property.
- Is your existing building sum insured for insurance purposes adequate? Will it support repair/reinstatement in event of insured losses and does your insurance cover things like lengthy delays caused by planning applications or legal dispute. Also ensure that contractors have adequate and relevant insurance arrangements in place.
- Develop a Disaster Recovery Plan for your business to support a swift recovery should the worse happen, including a snatch list for valuable/key art/antiques or important artefacts.
- Finally, consider how processes are shared with your staff and volunteers and that someone with full knowledge and access to plans is on duty at all times. You may like to consider additional training.