Guide Grants and loans

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8. Starting works

Starting works 

Before starting works

Do not start any works until you have:

  • Received your grant approval letter
  • Found additional funding if needed
  • Planning permission, listed building consent or building regulations have been approved.

You will need to contact your contractor yourself and arrange a start date for the work.

Check your insurance

You should check that the building insurance for your home covers building works. Call your insurance company to check if there are any issues that you need to be aware of.

If you have a shortfall

If we have awarded you a full grant, it will cover all agreed eligible work up to £30,000

You will need to make sure you have extra money available before works start if:

  • the work will cost more that £30,000
  • you have an assessed contribution

Your grant approval letter will tell you what contribution, if any, you will need to make.

Extra or unexpected costs

Once the builder starts work on site, they may find that you need extra work. If this happens, you must tell the DFG service straightaway.

You will need to get permission from the service to include this extra work within your grant. We will only consider extra work if it is essential and part of the agreed grant scheme.

The service may need to visit your home to discuss the extra works with your contractor.

If this work is expensive, we may ask the contractor to provide a written quote before agreeing the extra grant amount.

If it is necessary to amend your approval, we will notify you as necessary. This will be either while works are ongoing or when complete. Remember, the most you can receive as a grant is £30,000.

Paying for the extra costs

If you have already been allocated the maximum grant, then you will need to pay for any extra costs yourself. It is a good idea to think about how you would pay for any extra costs before the work starts. This will mean that the work isn’t held up if you need to find more money.

Before works begin

To protect your personal belongings from damage, make sure the work space is:

  • free from loose decorations and furnishings such as clocks, pictures, mirrors and shelving
  • free from toiletries if you are having works done to a bathroom

The contractor will remove fixed furnishings such as cupboards, curtains rails and blinds. They should refit these items when finished but cannot accept liability should they become damaged.

In the unlikely instance that any of your items become damaged during the works:

  • do not throw the item away
  • take photos
  • speak to your contractor immediately
  • describe in writing the damage caused
Contractors working in your home

While work is ongoing:

  • all employees should carry an identification badge from their employer (if they do not have this, do not let them into your home)
  • remove all valuables and store them in a safe place (this includes electrical items and those of which could easily break)
  • we ask that you do not allow children or pets to play on or near the works, this includes where materials are stored
  • do not leave babies in prams near to works and do not leave children unsupervised at any time
  • while works are carried out, keep pets away from the work area and do not leave them unsupervised (keep pets in a safe place where they cannot escape or be accidently let out)
  • take care when parking your vehicle to allow for safe property access (never park cars beneath scaffolding or overhead work)
  • be aware of any potential risks and trip hazards in your home such as dust sheets and power cables
  • we ask that the contractors supply dustsheets and other protective materials while working (if you are not happy with how workers are conducting themselves, speak with the contractor immediately so they can resolve any issues)

We always expect that the contractors will:

  • listen to your questions and provide information about what is happening in your home
  • be polite and patient
  • dress appropriately
  • keep appointments
  • cause as little disruption as possible
  • tell you in advance if they need to cut off any essential services, such as water or power