Starting the work

Major home adaptations step-by-step guide

Step 5: Starting the work

This step takes up to 12 months to complete.

By now, you'll know what adaptations you're having in your home. Before any work can start, you must have approval of your grant from your district or borough council. Do not start the building work this happens. You cannot use a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) for work you have started.

Depending on where you live, your adaptations team will be from:

  • your local district or borough council
  • a home improvement agency

You should speak to them if you have any questions or concerns during this step.

What happens in this step?

You may need a pre-start visit before work can start. This depends on:

  • where you live
  • how complex the works are

If you do, this could be with:

  • your occupational therapist (OT)
  • your builder
  • a surveyor or technical officer
  • your grants officer

Your adaptations team will speak to you and your builder to agree a start date. During the build, they'll oversee the works to make sure it follows the plans. They'll also talk to you about your adaptation warranties and who must maintain it.

Your local council may pay your builder in stages. This means they will have the funds they need to get started on the work.

Your adaptations team will try to make sure works can start as soon as possible. Sometimes, this is not possible because:

  • you or your builder have other commitments
  • bad weather
  • your builder is unexpectedly delayed on another job
  • unforeseen circumstances in the layout and structure of your home
  • last minute changes to your plans
  • availability of building materials or specialist equipment

Major adaptations can take a long time. However, once your council approves your grant, works must start in 12 months. Any delays might mean that you need to restart the process. You should talk to your adaptations team if you have any concerns.

You can talk to your builder or adaptations team about the plan for how the work will be done.

If your builder finds something in your home they weren't expecting, they might need to stop work. If that happens, they'll ask for advice from your adaptations team or building control.

Things might change for you. This could be because:

  • you've changed your mind about what you want
  • your needs have changed

If this happens you must tell your OT as soon as possible. They will need to make sure that any changes to the plan will still meet your needs. Your grants officer may also need to check the funding will still cover the cost.

You should expect disruption like:

  • dust
  • noise
  • tools left in your home
  • builders coming and going

Your builders might also need to:

  • move your furniture
  • move equipment needed for personal care to another room
  • turn off your water or electricity supply

You might need temporary changes during the works. This might include:

  • using a commode instead of your toilet
  • you might need to swap rooms around while work is being carried out

If the disruption means you would find it hard to live at home, you may need to think about moving out during the work. You could:

  • find someone you can stay with
  • find respite care

The Adult Social Care team may be able to help you with this. Speak to your OT about this.

Some adaptations will mean that your builder needs to carry out the work in stages. You might also want to get other work done at the same time. As this isn't part of the adaptation, you would need to agree this with your builder. Depending on what you want done, you may have to pay for it yourself.

You might need to sign a contract with the builder before the works start.

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