VALUE: £145k
LOCATION: Whitehaven, Cumbria
DURATION: 16 Weeks

Makeover and various care home refurbishment works to John Gaskell Court in West Cumbria

Our key client Housing 21 recently awarded Novus Property Solutions with the opportunity to complete various refurbishment works to a retirement scheme based in West Cumbria.

About John Gaskell Court

John Gaskell Court, is located on the outskirts of the seaside town of Whitehaven in West Cumbria.

The care home features a large communal lounge, laundry room and guest room, alongside gardens and private spaces for residents to sit and relax during sunny days.

The Objective of the Refurbishments

The primary goal was to achieve a complete retrofit to the tenants’ communal areas and allow more user-friendly amenities to be enjoyed, whilst integrating the clients chosen colour scheme throughout the building.

What Did Novus Do?

In order to achieve the desired outcome, the refurbishment works included:

  • Asbestos Removal
  • Full Internal Decoration
  • Windows and Doors Replacement
  • External Decoration
  • Suspended Ceilings
  • Kitchen Installation
  • Internal Layout Adjustment
  • Various Builders Works
  • Various Electrical Works

Challenges Associated with the Project

The project came with numerous challenges due to the nature of the site and its location.

Novus’s main consideration when delivering this project was the effect that any refurbishments being completed may have on the tenants’ day-to-day activities.

To minimise the disruption, refurbishments to the communal area were pushed to the end of the programme, ensuring that the tenants had full use of the kitchen and lounge/dining area throughout the majority of the time spent working on this project.

The electrical contractors, asbestos removal team and ceiling fitters had to be managed by Novus to ensure seamless transitions were made between ceiling rip out, electrical fixes and asbestos removal.

All corridors had Artex finishes to the ceilings, Novus had to devise a sectional strategy to ensure that at least one staircase was accessible for tenants to use at all times during the removal.

Working Closely with the Client

Numerous site visits were conducted at tender stage by Novus to ensure we captured all foreseeable works associated with the spec provided to us by the client.

This allowed Novus to keep variation costs down to a minimum.

Novus notified the client of any on site issues upon their realisation and endeavoured to rectify efficiently to ensure critical path activities were not affected.

For example, upon visual inspection of floor beneath original kitchen units, it became apparent that floor was not level, this was communicated to the client and an instruction was issued for Novus to level out the floor which was subsequently carried out the same day in which the instruction was issued.

Work Stream Focus: Asbestos Removal

Objective: Removal of approx. 750m2 of asbestos containing textured coatings to all corridors throughout the building


  • Live site – tenants occupying building during asbestos removal
  • Tenants must have access to at least 1 staircase at any one time to comply with H&S legislation


Our team restricted work zones to ensure that certain areas of the building remained operational.

We split the building into 24 removal zones over both floors and only allowed 1no zone to have works carried out at any single time.

The working hours were restricted, where actual asbestos removal was only allowed from 10.00am to 14.00pm. As such the time where tenants were out of their rooms was kept to a minimum.

A UKAS accredited air analyst was brought in to conduct air tests after the works to each zone were completed.

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