The three Cs of success in hotel refurbishment

  18 SEPTEMBER, 2017      INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
Decorator knelt down painting wall with ladder behind him

Hotels are almost like living entities and cannot simply be put on hold when maintenance work becomes necessary or when upgrades are required.

Our strategic operations manager Jeremy Ford recently wrote an article for Hotel, Sport and Leisure magazine where he explained how, by working carefully around hotel staff and guests, any works can be completed quickly and efficiently with as little disruption as possible. 

Read the full article below. 

Guests are the lifeblood of a hotel, with the experience of each and every visitor ultimately shaping the reputation and the future prospects of anyone in the hospitality business.

No establishment can afford to cause major disruption to its clientele during a period of redecoration or building works.
 
Years of experience in the sector have taught the team at Novus Property Solutions that the successful delivery of refurbishments to hotels requires a firm focus on the Three Cs: coordination, communication, and consideration.
 
1. Coordination

Coordination of the schedule of works with the activities of all the hotel management and staff prior to, during and after the period of the fit-out is key to the success of any hotel project.

It is of paramount importance that the interaction between tradespeople, hotel staff and guests is meticulously planned, so that the chances of unwanted or unexpected disturbances are minimised.
 
Room refurbishments must be subject to carefully phased plans, so that sections of the building are segregated and the work carried out in an optimal order.

A phased approach may take longer to complete, but it allows the hotel to remain operational throughout the works, and keeps the number of rooms unavailable at any given time to a minimum.
 
2. Communication

Clear lines of communication with hotel management during the planning stage are vital, but once the work gets underway there must be an equally strong focus on transparency and openness.

Using clear signage and physical barriers to segregate all works whilst under construction, and monitoring construction areas at all times, making sure that fire exit routes are kept clear and hotel guests are safe is essential when working within a live hotel environment.

In some cases, customers may need to be redirected through temporary entrances to gain access to rooms, and both signage and in-person communication are used to help this process run smoothly.
 
3. Consideration

Being considerate of hotel guests is key to a smooth operation and happy guests and hotel management. Novus restricts the times of noisy works during a project to between 9am and 6pm on weekdays, with an even shorter time frame over weekends.

Novus also holds daily briefing sessions to keep hotel management fully informed about the works and activities they can expect on site that day.

These briefings ensure everyone involved in the running of the hotel knows what to expect, and they give hotel staff the chance to ensure guests who may wish to sleep in late are booked into rooms away from the works.

Other considerations that can make all the difference include keeping compound areas to a minimum to maximise car parking spaces for guests.

In some cases, Novus is able to utilise other sites to place the compound and use a “just in time” delivery service to minimise disruption when car parking or servicing arrangements are tight for space.
 
Successful hotel projects should run smoothly from day one, and you can often tell when a project has been well planned and managed, because no one at the hotel will be talking about it – if staff and management are well briefed, and the workforce is considerate, there will be little need to discuss the works.
 

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WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT MAINTENANCE RESPONSIBILITIES FOR DOMESTIC LANDLORDS AND TENANTS?

Tenants and domestic landlords both have responsibilities to ensure the reasonable upkeep of a rented property. Here is our guide to where the division of responsibilities lie. A landlord's maintenance responsibilities  Whether it be a private landlord, council, or housing association, by law, the landlord is responsible for most of the maintenance and repairs required in your rented home. To undertake these works, a landlord is likely to employ a trade professional or a contractor (like Novus), depending on the scale of the maintenance required.  What is a landlord responsible for?  As previously alluded to, the landlord is responsible for the major maintenance and repair on the property – it is their property after all. This includes: Electrical wiring  Gas pipes and boilers Heating and hot water Chimneys and ventilation Sinks, baths, toilets, pipes and drains Entrance halls and stairways The structure of the building, including walls, stairs, roof, external doors and windows Generally keeping your home in a safe condition Reasonable repairs How long does a landlord have to do the repairs? Landlords must carry out the repairs and maintenance in a reasonable period of time. This period of time depends largely on the extent of the repairs to be undertaken on the property. Replacing a plug socket will inevitably take more time than replacing a roof for instance. When can the landlord carry out repairs? A landlord is obligated to schedule repairs to the property in advance. The law says that landlords must give the tenant “quiet enjoyment of the property” and as such, they must schedule a convenient date and time with their tenant in which to carry out the maintenance – giving at least 24 hours’ notice. The landlord can only enter the premises without prior notice or permission only in the event of an emergency such as a burst pipe or a fire. What is the tenant responsible for? Tenants have certain responsibilities for the general upkeep, maintenance and any minor repairs required within the rented property. The tenant must look after the home as if it were their own property and behave in a “tenant-like manner.” This is an old term that basically encompasses the following responsibilities: Keeping the home reasonably clean Ensuring that the electrical appliances you own are in a safe condition (i.e. unlikely to cause fires due to faults) Keeping the outside areas and garden of the home in a reasonable condition Undertake reasonable minor maintenance such as changing light bulbs, testing, and changing smoke alarm batteries  Repairing damage caused by yourself, your friends, family, and other guests. The landlord might expect the tenant to pay to repair any significant damage they have caused, and this could be sourced from the security deposit received at the beginning of the tenancy. Additionally, a tenant may be asked to pay for repairs to blocked drains, pipes, or toilets if reasonable care has not been taken to keep them free of blockages. Proving negligence however can be difficult. Overall, a tenant only has to reasonably maintain the condition that they found the house in, general wear and tear is also to be expected. The aim should not be to leave it in a better condition than the landlord provided originally!  Reporting issues to the landlord  Beyond the simple maintenance tasks expected of the tenant, they are also expected to report any issues to the landlord or (if one is being used) the letting agent as soon as they become apparent. Providing access to the property The tenant is expected to provide access to the workers appointed to make the repairs on the property. Tenants are entitled to at least 24 hours’ notice (preferably in writing) and for the works to take place at a time that is convenient and reasonable.

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