Would you have building work done while away on holiday?

(16 Posts)
northernlights0710 Tue 26-Jun-18 19:46:19


I thought I needed a repair job on my kitchen ceiling but the plasterer came today and told me the whole ceiling needed replacing. I@m going on holiday abroad very soon and perhaps hastily arranged for the work to be done while I'm away, causing me the least inconvenience. But I'm now wondering if this is a really bad idea?

My boyfriend will be flat sitting for me while I'm away and can let the workmen in, though he did say he "wouldn't want to sign off on the work", or approve it, in my absence.

Which gave me second thoughts. Should I arrange for the work to be done after I come back when I can be present and supervise in case of any questions they need to ask me, (or anything I'm not happy with ) etc?

The plasterer can do the job 3 days before I go away but I think I'll be too stressed with work and final preparations for holidays, let alone coping with all the dust and moving loads of stuff out of the kitchen, as they recommend.

What would you do if you were me? Many thanks in advance.

OP’s posts: |
MaddieElla Tue 26-Jun-18 19:54:03

My husband is a joiner but also project manages jobs where all tradesmen are needed. He has only done one huge job whilst the family were away for 2 weeks. Pros and cons. Pros were he has the freedom to come and go and to work later in the evening to make sure work gets done without interfering or annoying the customer. The customer came home to a complete refurbishment having not witnessed or endured the chaos it took to get there. Big plus.

Negative...he had a problem with an aspect of the kitchen (customer ordered the wrong item). They obviously weren't about to ask what their preferences were so had to go ahead and order what he would recommend and hope they were happy/willing to pay for it.

All in all he'd say he would love it if all his customers went off for the entire time he was working there - but as a customer you need to make sure your contractor is reputable and trustworthy. Social media is a good way to make sure you can trust them.

Frazzled2207 Tue 26-Jun-18 20:01:57

We did, had a loft conversion done and went away for the messiest two weeks.

It all worked out ok, I recall a few phone calls with questions/ minor issues but nothing major.

However trying to get the builder to tie in with our dates was a bit of a mare, he wanted to do it while we were away if poss, as it would be a lot less daily clearing up for him, but his previous job overran and they did not arrive until literally the day we went away, having originally planned to come and start a couple of weeks previously.

Frazzled2207 Tue 26-Jun-18 20:04:19

If your boyfriend can keep an eye on things this will make it ok I reckon, as they will know that he will call you if anything not going to plan! Also easier to keep in touch as he might have a different update to the builder. We had to rely on reports from our neighbour which was ok but I didn't feel I could hassle them every day!

lottiegarbanzo Tue 26-Jun-18 20:05:27

For a simple job yes, a complex one no.

Plastering a ceiling is surely simple (no parts or choices involved - place plaster on ceiling, the end) and messy.

So, with a reliable tradesperson and a housesitter, yes.

northernlights0710 Tue 26-Jun-18 20:28:06

Thanks everyone, but to be honest, I'm veering towards having the work done after I get back.

Also, I'm no expert but being the nosey person I am I looked up ceiling replacement on Google and came across the UK government website, which said that permission would need to be granted under the building regulations. Have I understood this right?

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Tue 26-Jun-18 21:10:19

No you haven’t. You are just repairing it. You don’t need to inform anyone.


northernlights0710 Tue 26-Jun-18 21:26:08

Great, thanks Bubbles.

I might still be persuaded to have the work done while I'm away. I'm just worried about a disaster happening. Or the plasterers doing something I don't like the finished result of or whatever, IYSWIM.

OP’s posts: |
Itchytights Tue 26-Jun-18 21:30:50

I know loads of people who go on holiday and have work done.

I haven’t but the attitude is very much to leave the mess ( and the noise!!) and go away. My neighbours did this. Fucked off over Christmas and had building work going on Christmas Day and Boxing Day even.
We complained as that was utterly taking the piss.

Up to you, I would rather stay and be at home myself.

minipie Wed 27-Jun-18 09:20:45

Replacing ceiling plaster is a simple job but incredibly messy, the old plaster will make a right mess when it comes down (if it's an old ceiling anyway as sounds likely). Whenever you get it done, do empty out your kitchen and tape all cupboard doors shut with masking tape. Also ensure all doors to other rooms in your house are shut and sealed with masking tape. Try to make sure they lay newspaper or something across any surfaces (eg tops of cabinets) to make cleaning up easier. If you haven't got time to do this before you go then I would delay until you do.

MrsBlondie Wed 27-Jun-18 09:30:39

I wouldn't as what happens if something goes wrong and they need to speak to you - you need to see it.

AgentProvocateur Wed 27-Jun-18 09:37:25

Plastering a ceiling is a simple job (for a professional, obviously!) I’d definitely go away and leave them to it. I always get any work done while we’re away on holiday.

caringcarer Wed 27-Jun-18 12:49:34

I honestly think i'd wait until i got back. But them I am a control freak. I would worry about plaster from old kitchen coming down and ruining my worktops and the mess. Will your boyfriend clean up? I would not be happy if I did not inspect work when it was completed and if spotted any uneven bits etc get it put right. Plaster can also get splashed on to appliances and needs to be cleaned up before it dries. Will either plasterer or boyfriend do this for you?

northernlights0710 Thu 28-Jun-18 02:41:53

Thanks for all these contributions, folks. You've persuaded me to change my plans and I'm now getting the work done after I get back from holiday. I've sorted it out with the plasterer and I'm much happier with this decision, so it's obviously the right one!

Many thanks, MN committee!

OP’s posts: |
amyboo Thu 28-Jun-18 08:28:50

I think it depends on the work. We had our wooden floors sanded and re-finished while we were on holiday. It was good, in that we could just pile the furniture up in one room, and then didn't have to deal with the mess etc. The negative was that it was a bit of a shock when we got home, as the floor was a few shades lighter than we'd expected it to be (turned out it previously had a coloured varnish on it), and it took a couple of days to adjust to it...

Makemineboozefree Thu 28-Jun-18 12:12:09

As long as your boyfriend is there keeping an eye on things, I would go away still. Get your bf to send you regular picture updates so a) you have a record of things and b) you can potentially nip any issues in the bud. Re-plastering a ceiling is straightforward - just make sure you clear everything away and insist contractor covers units and doors to avoid splashes.

Itchytights I am shock at your CF neighbours having work done on Christmas Day! Did they apologise?? You could've reported them to Building Control for that.

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