AD – This post is in conjunction with Local Heroes, but all thoughts are my own

If you’ve been around these parts for long enough, then you’ll know I’ve had an office built in my garden. I’ve blogged about it a number of times (and I just don’t stop talking about it… sorry) and have shared some home decor style posts as well as how having my own dedicated space will positives impact my career. But what I haven’t shared is my experience with actually getting the thing built and having tradespeople in our home during the pandemic.

Local Heroes are on a mission to educate people on staying safe when a tradesperson needs to visit their home. We don’t have any control over when our boiler breaks or when our guttering is leaking (we’ve had that problem this year!) And COVID isn’t going to stop just because you’ve got a leaky gutter.

They have created a great Tradespeople & COVID-19 guide on approaching tradespeople during the current climate but today I want to share my own experience with having tradespeople in and around our home during the pandemic and some tips of things that we did ourselves in order to keep everyone involved safe.

A quick look at how I had a garden office built during the pandemic:

My garden office project and renovation has been seriously drawn out. It actually started wayyyy back in February of 2020. Before all hell broke loose here in the UK and we weren’t aware of how serious this virus was going to become. We knew this company, run by a son (Lee) and Dad (big Lee) who had previously done our driveway. We liked them, they lived close by and they’re lovely blokes, so we asked them to do my office

Lee came over in February to chat with me about what I wanted and based on that visit, we should have been ready to get started in March. My office was supposed to be complete by April 2020. May at the latest.

Then COVID happened.

No progress was made for months. Lee wasn’t working, we were in such a strict lockdown and we didn’t want people in our house either. It was at the time at the start of the pandemic when everyone was seriously scared of the cases and fatalities rolling in day after day.

By the Summer, when things had settled down, we agreed with our builders that we were happy for them to make a start. Luckily for us, my office is a standalone structure in the garden, so they didn’t have any need to come in the actual house, which made us all feel a lot better.

And here we are, March 2021. Over a year after my office was supposed to have been started and we’ve ONLY JUST finished it. Due to the restrictions and various lockdowns, it hasn’t been a quick process. But we made it. And we all came out the other side safely and healthily. In fact, nobody in my household has had COVID!

How can I stay safe when tradespeople are in my home?

Most of us have enough common sense to know what to do and how to act in this situation but in such a strange situation that none of us have ever been in before, it can be easy to forget at times and get a little overwhelmed. Because let’s face it, this is alien to all of us!

Here are some tips for various things you can do before, during and after tradespeople are in your home. Some of these tips will be common sense, others suggested by Local Heroes and a few which we have done ourselves that I thought I would share:

What can I do before the visit?

Air out the rooms: This is something that we have done ourselves and that’s leave our patio doors open before and during the visit. Even if it’s freezing, allowing the air to circulate and can help.

Wipe down surfaces and door handles: We’re not only trying to keep ourselves safe so it’s important to wipe any door handles or surfaces that our tradespeople might have to touch before they arrive. Don’t forget the doorbell!

What can I do during the visit?

Always wear a mask: Keep your mask on for the duration of the visit. And ensure the tradesperson is also wearing a mask. Don’t forget that you’re both within your right to ask the other person to wear one.

Keep a safe distance: Although this might be hard, depending on the problem at hand, try and ensure you’re keeping a safe distance at all times.

Don’t shake hands: We need to remember what we SHOULDN’T do as well, in this situation. Shaking hands on arrival is definitely off the cards. That’s not the only way to be friendly and polite!

Don’t offer them food or drink: I know this might seem against what you think you should do as it’s SO natural to us (especially us Brits with our tea) but you shouldn’t allow the tradespeople to drink or eat from your plates / mugs.

Stay in another room whilst they’re working (if possible): This will not only give them space to do their job but it’ll also ensure you’re definitely a safe distance potentially with a wall between you for extra precaution.

What can I do after the visit?

Wipe any surface they touched: Another common sense point but definitely something that can be easy to forget at times. Make sure you use an anti-bacterial wipe as well.

Have a deep clean: No judgment here. If you feel safer having a massive deep clean after someone else has been in your house, go for it. Whatever makes you the most comfortable.

Pay them afterwards via bank transfer (if possible): I know this isn’t ALWAYS possible but to avoid physical money changing hands, it might be worth arranging a safer bank transfer with them instead.

It’s also worth remembering that in situations like this, you are in control. If it’s not an emergency and you’re not feeling comfortable, then you can rearrange your appointment. You can keep a big a distance as YOU want to and you should never feel rude for not being social right now. They’ll understand!

Have you had a tradesperson in your home during COVID-19? Do you have any other suggestions to add to this list? Let me know!

68 Comments

  1. Amazing advice! We’ve had a few people come round to the flat recently to fix a few things and I’ve been making sure that we’re doing everything we can to be as safe as possible. Masks, social distancing, windows open etc and luckily so far neither of us have caught it! This will be really useful for so many people xx

    Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

  2. Great tips! Someone had to come and do some work to our toilet the other day… so we let them in, hid in the bedroom (with the door open so he could shout if he needed something) and then wiped the place down as he went!

    Katie | katieemmabeauty.com

  3. It is so strange when I sit here and think that last January (2020) it was not weird or it was normal when tradespeople came round and now flash forward a year later and there is so much that we think about. A lot I just naturally think of as well. Because my mum has been going to work throughout the whole time since this started, we have naturally just got into the routine of wiping everything done when she comes home and deep cleaning etc! Also it is great that you shared these tips because people might forget and it’s important during this time to abide the rules (to keep everyone safe). But on a nicer note YAAAY to your home office! I am so excited for you 😂 xx

  4. Love this handy little guide! We haven’t had any work done during the pandemic but we are due some soon so i’ll definitely be using this post as a guide on staying safe! x

  5. We’ve had a few tradespeople to our house already, you really can’t get around it when moving into a new construction home. We definitely social distance and have meetings outside whenever possible. Of course, we’re spoiled that our desert climate means we don’t freeze our butts off out there

  6. Thank you for sharing this post. I painted my bedroom last week and am getting carpet fitted soon. We then are also redoing two bathrooms, so this post was amazing timing. Thank you for sharing this! It was really helpful and actually has eased my nerves of other people being inside my home

    Em x

  7. Great post Jenny! Love your office look, I’m so jealous. We essentially did this when we had to get a new heating/cool unit back in January. Good tips for everyone to follow.

  8. Loving this handy guide to staying safe! It is so true that life goes one and we have to find ways to roll with it.
    We have had tradespeople in our home a couple times this year and last year too. We had to have our stove replaced, so we did our best to stay safely distanced and masked, and we wiped down everything we could afterwards. All went well. 🙂

  9. This is something I didn’t even think about when covid hit, there’s always things that need doing at home so sometimes it’s a must for tradespeople to come into your house. These are really good tips! X

  10. We’re getting our garden done soon so this is a very useful post! We’ve had very little work done on the house during COVID but this couldn’t just be put off any longer!
    Thanks for your advice, pet!

  11. I live in a townhome, so the only people that come to our home when something needs to be fixed are the maintenance team – and I love them to bits. They really do work to keep us safe and we do the same for them. I always clean prior to their visit and wear a mask while they’re here. When they leave, I clean again! It’s so important. I’m glad you shared this article!

  12. This is such a good idea! I have had tradespeople in a few times recently and it always makes me nervous because my husband is extremely vulnerable during this pandemic. We have some people due to come in and fix/build stuff at some point and I will take all this advice in — thank you so much for this!

  13. This is really helpful. I know we worried over the summer last year about having carpets fitted. We now need flooring and an electrician in, but I will certainly be following your advice here, especially given that it is the kitchen they will be working on. Lots of surfaces etc for them to come in to contact with x

  14. These are such great tips and tricks for staying safe while having people work on your home too. Thanks so much for sharing these!

  15. These are great tips! I have been relieved to see that more and more people are updating their payment options to include an online payment. Even our massage therapist now takes an etransfer to pay for any outstanding balances. The passing of physical money right now just isn’t the safest option with everything going on.

  16. Yay!! Congrats on your office being finished, that’s so exciting! This is such a great post! We’ve had to have a few people in during the year because of problems and it’s the little things like stopping my dad just standing there talking to them without making sure there is adequate space etc. It’s been such a crazy time that I doubt anyone will get offended at not being offered a cup of tea! Great post!

  17. This is a fantastic post, Jenny! While I don’t think we’ll need any tradespeople in our home, we are a few weeks away from giving notice which means we’re likely to have estate agents and prospective renters viewing the place at some point and these tips will certainly come in handy when they do! Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

  18. We’ve literally been dealing with leaky taps (that I spend 5 minutes on closing properly so they don’t leak) and other small things this entire year. We finally had to let people in for a new and much needed internet connection. These tips are very helpful, thanks for sharing!

  19. These are helpful tips! So there were these people that came to every apartment in my block & installed this internet cable & it pissed me off because first off Denmark still had many restrictions, but we weren’t in a complete lockdown at the time & installing an internet cable isn’t necessary! On top of that the people weren’t wearing masks either!!! Like if you’re going to be visiting a ton of people’s apartments & spending some time there, WEAR A MASK. I also didn’t know at the time that I could ask them to wear a mask so next time I know! I just opened the door & ran back to the living room to keep my distance while they installed the cable in the entryway.

  20. This is really informational and definitely things I need to consider when I buy my own property next year. Thank you for sharing your tips!
    Also the aesthetic of your office looks so pretty! Thank you for sharing. Lauren.

  21. These all great tips! We had some people coming in for a leaking radiators but always observed distance, mask and then cleaned afterward. Everyone was very respectful and helpful. I can only imagine how it must be even for them to visit different household at this time, thanks for sharing x

  22. Great tips. We’ve needed a few jobs to be done during the pandemic. One being a loo having to be replaced, a boiler service, fencing repair & serious garden pruning. I’m in a vulnerable group, so I stay in another room masked up well out of the way with that door closed. We also ensure windows are open for air flow. And we do the wipe downs too. Most trades people are excellent about distancing etc, but a tiny few are not quite so much. So you find yourself backing away.

    Ps. I love your pink sprayed car wheel table, your pink chair & your home office. I have a car inner wheel kept as a memory of my late father & would love it made as a table. Will have to explore that when possible.

  23. Great tips, Jenny! This will be so helpful for lots of people right now. I think with people spending all their time at home renovations and redecorating is the only thing people can do! This will help keep us all safe. Fab post.

  24. Great post. We’ve had a porch added to the front of our house but luckily, the builders didn’t need to get entry to the interior of the house until they needed to move the front door and sort the plastering and electrics. I had every single window open in the freezing cold but boundaries were respected. It’s an added stress but tradespeople can still work and they should!

    Rosie

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