Each and every day contractors, service providers, plumbers, electricians and more enter millions of homes to provide repairs and assistance. While it is preferable that the homeowner be present to provide information, answer questions, explain the problem and oversee the work this is not always possible. In situations when you can’t be present in your home when a stranger is there it is important to properly vet these individuals before granting them access. Even if you are home to supervise the work it is next to impossible to monitor each person for the entire time that they are in your house. Therefore, prior to hiring a contractor or repair person take precautions to ensure that they are trustworthy and reliable.
What to do Before a Contractor Arrives at your Home
Prior to scheduling work to be done or an appointment time, be upfront and ask the contractor what they do to ensure your safety and whether or not they conduct background checks on their employees. It is important to remember that the person who comes to provide an estimate or an initial consultation is often not the individual who will be doing the work at your home. Ask for references or better yet, talk to your neighbors and ask who they hire for repairs. Often, businesses that have done work in your neighborhood may leave a sign in their client’s yard or drop pamphlets off in the mailbox. If the work being done is substantial, such as the addition of a deck or sun porch, be sure to check with the Better Business Bureau to verify that the deck contractor has the necessary licenses and permits to operate in your state. Once you know that a stranger will be visiting your home, don’t give the person more access than they require.
What to do When the Contractor is in your Home
If the repairman asks to enter a room that you don’t believe they need to be in ask questions to ascertain their rationale and should you deem it necessary for them to gain access go with them to the new space. While being sociable with the person is always a great way to build rapport it is not necessary to share personal information or be overly friendly. Keep the conversation to a minimum and allow the person to do their work with little to no interruptions. If possible always try to have another person in the home with your when a contractor arrives to do work. This is especially important if children or elderly individuals are present.
Having people in your home to do work is something that cannot be avoided. While 99% of contractors are trustworthy and reliable there is always the 1% who will take advantage of their clients if possible. By following the aforementioned steps you’ll be better prepared to keep you and your home safe while still getting the improvements or repairs done that are necessary.