Talking The Talk: A Simple Plan For Getting The Most From Tradespeople
When you hire someone in to do work on your home, it’s always going to be a leap of faith. You are entrusting your pride and joy to another person, and no matter how much research you do, there’s always going to be an element of trepidation.
It’s also an inherently fraught process, even if the person you are dealing with is the nicest person in the world. You’re bringing in an expert, be it an electrician, someone to fit carpets or a plumber, because there is a gap in your knowledge. That means you don’t know what you’re doing; they do… but you’re the one who is going to control the process.
Communicating effectively when you hire someone to do work on your home is a part of the process that you have to master, even if it doesn’t come easy to you.
DO Be Upfront About Timescales
If you need something doing in a specific amount of time, then you have to be upfront about it. Don’t say “sometime next week would be fine” if you really mean “it has got to be Monday or Tuesday”. This can lead to resentment on your part, as you wonder what’s taking them so long. If you then ask them what’s happening – and they are keeping to the more vague timescale you gave – then that could lead to resentment on their part. That’s not a happy working relationship.
DON’T Be Demanding
It might feel like the work you are undertaking is the most important thing in the world, but to the tradesperson, it’s just another job. So don’t expect them to move heaven and earth for you, or make any demands on their time or availability. Your work should be important to them, but it’s unrealistic to expect them to put it above everything else in their life and career.
DO Admit That There Are Gaps In Your Knowledge
Don’t try and pretend that you know everything and how to go about it. If they say something that you don’t understand, then ask for clarification. It might be a touch embarrassing, but it’s better that than you agree to something that isn’t what you had in mind! Any competent tradesperson will be happy to explain to you when there’s something you don’t understand; they should want to ensure you get the most out of the work as well.
DON’T Hover Over Them
If you have trusted someone enough to bring them into your home, then there is no need to supervise their every move. Leave them alone to do their work, rather than hovering over them checking what they are doing. By all means, find a reason to pop in every so often (an offer of tea or coffee is rarely going to be badly received!) and check up, but don’t try and linger.
DO Write Everything Down
If you have long, protracted discussions with a tradesperson, then write everything down once you reach a conclusion. That way, you both have a hard copy of the work that’s being undertaken and how long it’s estimated to take. It’s far simpler than relying on memory alone, and should discourage any arguments from taking place.
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