We were approached by the contractors Morgan Sindall to tender for a contract for LiLAC (Leeds Independent Living Accommodation Company Ltd). LiLAC is an independent living project which provides purpose-built homes for adults with learning difficulties on 40 sites across Leeds, as well as one facility caring for children and young people.
Decorating and refurbishment works are carried out on the sites on a five-year cycle, and to date in the contract we have completed work on 45 sites.
We worked closely with Morgan Sindall to create the schedule of works and our site foreman Lukasz Podhalicz then liaised with the manager of each care home site to follow the schedule.
Our contract manager Matthew Edwards attends fortnightly project meetings with Morgan Sindall and representatives from LiLAC to discuss progress. Feedback was excellent on working to schedule.
The contract involves the internal and external decoration of each home, which comprises a living room, dining room, kitchen, utility/sluice room, corridors and multiple bathrooms/WCs and bedrooms for use by the residents, as well as a separate staff room and staff flat.
As part of the contract, we prepare external surfaces including fascias, soffits and bargeboards, windows, doors and panelling by carrying out any sanding, scraping and filling required, before painting with undercoat and oil-based gloss paint.
Internally, after preparing surfaces by sanding, filling and taping, and removing wallpaper, we paint walls and ceilings with water-based acrylic paints such as durable matt emulsion, and internal woodwork including doors, windowsills and skirting with gloss paint.
This contract requires us to work very flexibly due to the specific needs of the residents of the homes. In order to ensure efficiency, two sites are worked on simultaneously, so that if the team is required to vacate one site, work can still continue and the project as a whole can still move forward. We utilise a team of two or three people in order to complete work on a site over a two-week period.
In the case of Rainbow House, which provides care for children and young people, we had to complete a total refurbishment of the decor within a strict seven-day timeframe during which the children were not resident. In order to achieve this, we brought in extra staff and worked weekends, as it was extremely important for us to hit our deadline.
At the end of each project we return to complete any works required once the other trades such as carpet fitters have been on site. We work to cause the least disruption to clients and leave the residents with a clean and tidy building that looks fresh and new.