VALUE: £250k
LOCATION: Liverpool
DURATION: 6 months
External repairs and redecoration to St. Andrews Gardens, Liverpool for our client Homes for Students

Homes for Students is one of the UK’s leading providers of student accommodation, offering a range of accommodation designed with students firmly in mind at locations across the UK.

St Andrews Gardens is one of the company’s most popular properties in Liverpool thanks to its location close to both the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University.

It has long been a well-known and distinctive landmark in the city with its unusual circular construction and exterior balconies, which have been completely refreshed by a team of 13 operatives.

Repairs and Redecoration Project Outline

The works consisted of installing structural steel support columns, pointing the exterior balconies, isolated brick replacements as well as painting the balcony and staircase ceilings, walls, floors, doors and frames.

A small amount of movement had been detected around some of the external staircases, so fitting the bespoke steel support columns was a central part of the project.

We fitted this underneath the staircase soffits where required to alleviate the movement of the staircase.

They were manufactured for this project by a specialist metal fabricating company in order to meet the project’s specific requirements.

The scheme manager at St Andrews Gardens specified all the paint for the project, opting for products which would guarantee a long-lasting, weather-resistant finish and match the existing paintwork.

Applying low-odour, water-based paints not only helped improve the environmental credentials of the project as a whole, but also minimised the impact on students living in the flats while the works were being carried out.

The operatives mechanically sanded and primed the floor area of each balcony and staircase before applying two coats of Johnstone’s 2 Pack Epoxy Water-based floor paint in dark grey. Highly resistant to abrasion and impact, it provides an extremely durable finish, making it an ideal choice for a busy student block of flats.

Johnstone’s Stormshield Smooth Masonry paint was used for the walls and ceilings in light grey and white respectively.

The high quality acrylic resin-based coating provides a smooth finish that resists dirt accumulation and offers excellent weather resistance.

The door frames were painted using Johnstone’s flexible undercoat and gloss which offers an excellent resistance to cracking and flaking and has a life cycle of eight years.

Repairs and Redecoration Restrictions

As the project took place over six months, the building remained fully let throughout, so operatives had to work considerately and maintain regular communication with both the students themselves and the Homes for Students management team to ensure any issues could be dealt with as quickly as possible.

It was important that the balconies were kept completely clear until the floor paint had dried.

The team informed students in plenty of time by letter dropping to give notice of exactly when their floor was going to be repainted, which helped to avoid any nasty surprises on both sides.

Another challenge faced by the team was access to the high level areas.

All works off the balconies were undertaken by means of podium scaffolds while a large Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) had to be brought in for the high level works.

This brought about further complications as the carpark was busy for most of the day so any time the MEWP required moving had to be carefully planned.

There were a number of different elements to this project but the one of the key requirements was to carry out all works with as little disruption to the students’ day-to-day lives as possible. The fact that we’ve since been asked to complete a number of other works on site is testament to the quality of work and the attitude of the team. We look forward to continuing to work with Homes for Students in the future.

Paul Moss, contracts manager at Novus Property Solutions said

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