Key issues to consider before undertaking a care home renovation

Key issues to consider before undertaking a care home renovation

A care home renovation is a major undertaking, and there are many factors that need to be considered before the project begins. In this blog we take a look at some of the things you should consider before embarking on a care home renovation project to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible.

The Building and its Surroundings

Around 80% of UK care homes are more than 40 years old.  Whilst renovating an old building is never easy, it is vital to maintaining high standards of care for residents.

Before works begin, you will need to complete a site audit to identify any defects or problems affecting the structure of your residential care home.  There are various checks that you should do to assess the condition of the building which a surveyor can walk you through.

A site audit should uncover any damp or water damage on walls and ceilings. It should also identify any defects such as poor-quality windows that may need replacing and cracks in the walls, which may indicate structural problems.

It can also be beneficial to complete an energy audit at the same time.  Any energy saving opportunities identified can then be incorporated into your designs to deliver cost savings in the long-term.  The market is forever evolving, with new technologies, government grants and building compliance, so an energy audit can really add value to your project.

Planning the Renovation Work

When deciding upon a care home renovation project, remember to take into account the requirements of your residents during your planning stages. Their input can help guide decisions about what work needs to be done in order to make their stay more comfortable. For example, if residents report that the heating system is not working properly, you might need to install an additional gas supply or upgrade your boiler.

Any work undertaken in a care home should be done in consultation with residents and staff as this will involve changes to their daily routine for some time. Informal meetings can help gather everyone’s opinion on what needs doing and will avoid any surprises once construction begins.

The brief for a care home refurbishment should include information about the layout of the building, what needs doing and cost estimates. These documents should be circulated to staff during meetings so that everyone is aware of project details and can plan their activities accordingly. Once you get approval from your planning authority, you can contact builders and contractors such as ourselves, to begin work.

Planning Permission

When planning a care home renovation project, don’t forget to check permission requirements with the relevant local authority before you begin work.  You may need to ask your local councils building control office to conduct a site visit and they should be able to provide advice about what steps need to be taken before the project begins.

Involving Residents in the Care Home Renovation

A care home renovation is a big change for residents, and they may be affected in different ways depending on their age and health. Older people will find changes to their routine more difficult, especially if they live alone or have little family support.

You should also be aware of any anxiety that residents may feel about not being able to get around their surroundings freely whilst works are ongoing.  Your care home renovation should therefore include plans to protect residents’ independence as much as possible.

Also taking the time to find out what your residents want from a renovation project in your care home will help to ensure that they enjoy their new surroundings and get the most out of any new facilities.

It’s worth considering the opinions of other care home operators as well so that you can compare experiences and ideas. These can be found in magazines and publications, on the internet or through various care home associations.

The views of other care home operators may be particularly useful if you are planning a large renovation project as they will help to give you an idea of whether such work is feasible for your particular building or household.

Care Home Renovations and Government Funding

You may be able to obtain grants for certain types of care home improvements from your local council or government, depending on what you intend to do and who will fund it. For example, if you are improving the energy efficiency of your building or installing a better heating system, you may be able to obtain funding for these upgrades.

It can take some time before you find out whether your application is successful, so it’s a good idea to keep hold of all relevant information about the care home renovation that you are planning. If any government body contributes towards the cost of the work, you may be required to provide evidence of the project’s cost or an invoice detailing how much it has taken.

Care Home Renovation Costs

The amount that your care home renovation will cost will depend on a number of factors including whether you are extending the property, what type of work is being done and the materials used.

You can make the most of your budget by including energy saving initiatives within your project.  Money saved through improved plant and building performance can then be applied to future renovations.

Care home renovations should be done as quickly as possible to limit the disruption for residents. Contractors such as ourselves will aim to complete the work as quickly as possible while maintaining high standards of quality as well as health and safety.

Care Home Renovations: Your Care Home Managers

As well as consulting with your residents, you should also talk to your care home managers about the renovation project. Keeping them updated on plans will help to ensure that they are prepared for any changes to their working environment and can put in place any logistical arrangements such as bringing additional staff onboard temporarily during a large-scale renovation project.

Care home renovations may affect your care home managers in other ways too, particularly if new equipment is being brought into the building. The more you can do to help them adapt to these changes, the easier it will be for everyone involved.

Before beginning any renovation work on your care home, try to schedule this so that it is out of the way of your annual check-up inspections by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) or there may be areas they are unable to access due to the construction works.

Care Home Renovations: The Impact on Your Staff

Any care home renovation could have a major impact on how the building looks and feels to those who already work there. When carrying out large scale renovations, it’s important that you don’t forget about the impact that this might have on your care home staff and how they feel.

Renovations can be stressful enough for the people who work in a care home but, if these are particularly disruptive or involve moving some of the residents out of their rooms temporarily, it could make the situation worse. Try to keep your staff informed about any plans for a renovation project to keep them in the loop and avoid any feelings of isolation.

Care Home Renovations: Added Value to Your Property

When you carry out a large scale care home renovation, it’s worth considering whether the work will add some value to your property. If you do plan on selling your building at some point, then any changes you make to the layout might help to increase its value.

There are a number of ways in which you could try to increase the value of your property when carrying out care home renovations. For example, if your care home is sited on a particularly nice road or near some form of transport hub, then building alterations that improve these access points could well add to your property’s market value.

If you are planning a large scale renovation project on your care home, then it’s worth gathering as much information as possible beforehand about the likely impact of this work on residents’ health and wellbeing. It may not be feasible to renovate every room in the building at once but it is still worth keeping this in mind when planning your work schedule.

Care Home Renovations: Other Options for Refurbishment

If you do plan on carrying out a large-scale care home renovation, it’s worth considering other ways in which you can improve the value of your building. There are specialists who will offer advice on how to increase the resale value of a property and some simple measures may be all that’s needed.

If you are thinking of carrying out a smaller scale refurbishment, then there are alternative options for making sure that residents and staff continue to feel comfortable in their surroundings. For example, adding new lockers or coat hooks could be a quick and easy way to improve on storage options for each of your residents.

If you have an outdoor space, then it might be possible to add extra seating or even a few garden beds where plants could grow throughout the year. These kinds of additions are likely to have a positive impact on staff morale as well as providing comfort and relaxation for residents.

Care Home Renovations: The Final Word

If you are carrying out a care home renovation, then it’s worth doing as much research into the work as possible and considering different ways in which to make it easier for residents and staff alike to feel comfortable within their surroundings. It might be simpler than you think to improve the atmosphere within a building without needing to spend large sums of money.

Looking at ways in which you can make your care home feel more like home for residents is likely to be welcomed by both staff and management alike, so don’t be afraid to get creative with your plans. Thinking outside the box could save you time and money in the long run.

If you need work doing but you’re not sure where to begin, speak to one of our team today on 0117 967 5923 or email  As experienced contractors in the care home sector, we can take a project from concept through to completion.  We work with a network of specialists within the industry from lighting experts, to Architects and interior designers to meet your project needs.