Take good care of your tradespeople
If you’re knee-deep in professional renovation this year, you’ll probably be getting to know some people that you’ve never met before. They’ll practically be living with you ‒ or at least, it might sometimes feel that way, when tradespeople are coming in and out of your house all day long.
Instead of seeing them as strangers, look at them as friends ‒ skilled friends who are transforming the space you live in.
How can you make tradespeople feel respected and appreciated?
First, talk. It seems obvious, but “talk” doesn’t just mean nodding your head in their general direction. Ask their names, if you don’t know. Find out a bit about them. Smile. Be friendly. And then, when you need to talk about what you expect, it will be a simple and comfortable conversation for both of you. You’re in this together, after all.
Make tea. Or coffee, or offer a soft drink or a glass of cold water. Maybe a plate of cookies now and then. It’s a small gesture, but it’s thoughtful and it will be appreciated. What about a lunch area? Have you made a spot available if they’ve brought their lunch? A picnic table in the back yard, perhaps? A table in one of the rooms not being renovated?
Be available. If you’re away for the day while they’re working, leave a number where they can call or text if there’s a glitch or something they need to know. Your renovator probably already has this contact information, but it’s courteous to let a tradesperson know that you can be contacted for small questions.
Respect their time and work areas. Don’t go overboard even though your approach is friendly and thoughtful. Your tradespeople won’t want to get into long conversations. They’re too busy getting the job done. They also won’t want you hanging around watching them at work, so be respectful of their work areas and their time.
Tell them. At the end of the job, and assuming you’re happy with the work, say so. Tell your renovator, but say it in writing so it’s on record. Say it in a letter, an email, or on the renovator’s web site. A small gift or card is also an appropriate way to show your appreciation and approval.
These little gestures add to a tradesperson’s confidence (and therefore continued professionalism) that carries forward to the next job, and the next ‒ and who knows? ‒ maybe back to you for your next renovation.