People all over the country have tradespeople working in their homes and it can be quite confronting.
With Australia in the thick of a reno boom, homeowners across the country are welcoming tradies into their home to undertake all sorts of work from painting walls, to updating kitchens, renovating bathrooms, re-tiling floors and much more.
While we all live with different standards and household rules, it is important to set some rules from day one when you bring a tradie into your home.
This ensures everyone understands what type of behaviour is expected and it helps to avoid issues occurring along the way. The process of having work undertaken by a tradie can be stressful, so it is important to set expectations at the outset.
Someone I know recently mentioned that their tradie arrived to their home with a bit of a hangover. The tradie asked whether he could lie down in their spare bedroom for a while. This request was denied and it was suggested that perhaps the tradie should come back the next day when they are feeling better.
How to deal with tradies
Here are some key tips on tradie etiquette to help homeowners set and manage expectations.
I know this approach sounds sensible, but the reality is sometimes attendance and timing need to be clarified.
Confirm what time the tradie will arrive and depart each day. This way you can work your movements around their attendance.
Ensure you arrange a parking spot for the tradie that doesn’t require them having to move their vehicle throughout the day and let them know that you would like them to park in this location at all times.
This will ensure the tradie doesn’t park their vehicle in locations that are not suitable such as on your front lawn or in the neighbour’s driveway, etc.
Everyone has different rules when it comes to shoes. Many people like visitors to take their shoes off in the house. This is understandable however often it is not possible for tradies to take their boots on and off.
Some tradies, for occupational health and safety reasons, need to keep their boots on especially when they are dealing with machinery and heavy objects.
If this is the case, ask them to put down drop sheets or wear boot covers that slip over the top of their boots so they can keep their boots on and your floors clean.
It’s likely the tradie will want to go to the toilet while they are working at your place.
It is courteous to show the tradie where the toilet is and to explain the rules. For example, light flush for number one and leave the toilet seat down after use.
My advice is always ‘be kind to your tradie’. Offer them a cup of tea or coffee each day. This shows them that you appreciate their time and work.
Forging a good relationship makes the process easier and helps to smooth out any issues along the way. And, when it comes to eating and drinking, if you have rules around where food and drink can be consumed in the home, let the tradie know. If they bring packaged items, ask them to take them with them or provide a bin for them to dispose of these items.
Incredibly, I heard a story only this week about someone who engaged a tradie and the tradie brought their dog along and allowed the dog to play inside the homeowner’s house without even asking first.
This is a no-no and most people would not tolerate this. Be clear about what you are willing to accept. Generally, it is not acceptable for a tradie to bring their pet to a residential work site.
Avoid using cash. Ensure you make payment through a proper platform such as Securely, the Tradies app.
This will ensure that payments are transparent, there is accountability and processes in place to manage the release of funds when works are completed as required, and you have a resolution service available should things go south. Monies are kept in escrow to ensure the tradie is paid and you are refunded if necessary.
While it can take time to work through expectations at the outset, it is worth doing to avoid issues.