Imagine leaving your unlocked phone with the repair guy.
Picture the same scenario with your home.
Unlike smartphones, homes must stay open during repair, meaning you must decide whether to be home or risk everything.
So, Should You Be Home When Contractors Are Working On Your Home?
Most contractors are used to being left in charge of the property, albeit with restrictions on which rooms they can access. They generally dislike it when you linger around, overtly supervising them. Many of them would appreciate it if you stayed out of the way and let them do their job. But they are strangers, after all. The safety of your property is a priority.
Whether you should be home with your contractors can depend on several factors.
See Also: Should You Feed Your Contractor?
You don’t need to be home with your repair team if you discuss the specific rooms they should access.
If you are remodeling the kitchen, then the bedroom is out of bounds for the repair team. You can lock away your valuables or restrict access to specific rooms.
Leave them your phone number so they can call for queries and clarification.
Still, your trust in the contractor is insufficient if they have assistants you don’t know very well. Here’s when to never leave the contractors in charge of your home:
An Unfamiliar Contractor with A Team Deserves to Be Watched
It is easier to trust a familiar contractor assisted by two other workers than a guy you barely know with a sizeable team.
If this is your first time working with an unfamiliar contractor and his team, be at home the whole time. You don’t want to return to ransacked drawers and missing items.
Contractors are starting to hire workers they should not be hiring. Some workers are undocumented individuals or people with a criminal past.
As a diligent homeowner, you want to know who you are letting into your property.
The contractor you know and trust may be more expensive to hire than the guy you just met for the first time.
You could be tempted to save a few dollars with a guy you barely know. But sometimes trust carries more value than money.
For Advanced Projects, The Owner of the Property Has to Be There
There’s a huge difference between fixing a faulty section of the piping and remodeling a whole kitchen.
For advanced projects, you should be there to provide water and give access to the bathroom when the contractors need it.
Certain things have to be covered or moved away from harm’s way. If the schedule requires a review, you have to be there to oversee everything.
Picture your contractor being forced to abandon his job to save your curious cat from drowning in a freshly installed aquarium.
You should be there to prevent your kids and pets from messing with things and interfering with the smooth progress of the project.
Don’t assume they understand the seriousness of the ongoing work.
If there is need to shut off some of the home’s utilities, you have to be there to oversee everything.
Let us say you hired a contractor and his team to add some shelving in the kitchen.
Along the way, they run into a problem: the shelves fail to fit or bump into an extensive mold or mildew growth.
If the contractor is dishonest and comes across such issues in your absence, they may ignore them.
The room may need vacuuming; the material needs to be kept safe, obey local building requirements, etc. These are the responsibilities of the property owner.
Contractors Juggle Jobs (They Won’t Tell You)
The renovation project may be substantial for you, but for the contractor, it is just another task.
Unbeknown to many, contractors love to juggle jobs. While they may be justified (it’s hard to keep a business afloat nowadays), it might also mean they will show up at your place only a few times a week.
No homeowner wants their renovation project to drag on for ages, causing all sorts of inconveniences.
It would help if you accepted this obvious fact about contractors, but what you should never accept is your absence. Hang around and let them know you want to see what they are doing.
Did You Pay Too Much Money Up-front?
If you pay your contractor too much money upfront, you are unwittingly giving him a reason to leave before the task is done – or rob you blind.
But why would anyone pay so much up-front?
By now, you are aware that home renovation projects typically cost 10% or more than your budget.
But you may not be aware that considering this factor may cause you to make an unreasonably high up-front payment. Such a mistake will require you to be present at home all the time or keep the contractor on his toes.
Two Things To Do, If You Can’t Be Home With The Contractor
If you can’t be home at all times but still want to keep tabs on the contractor, you can opt to:
1. Randomly Show Up
Yes, pop up unannounced (but let them know you are there).
It is your home, after all, and you should not feel uneasy popping up randomly to check the project’s progress.
If you show up randomly twice or thrice, the contractor is likely to abandon their ill intentions if they had any because they can’t track your movements.
However, when you arrive randomly, let everyone at home know you are there. You don’t want to pose a safety concern or appear suspicious.
2. Security Cameras
The best thing about security cameras is their presence sometimes compels a person to behave even if they are not being watched.
Several security cameras installed in strategic spots throughout the home can do more than boost security.
They are an effective tool for tracking home renovation progress from a distance.
You get to see who is arriving at the property, items delivered and taken out of the home, and more.
It would be negligent of you to leave a stranger in charge of your home with all your valuables.
The safety of your valuables is paramount.
You need to oversee the whole project and provide the support the contractor needs.
If you must be away, remember to pop up randomly or install a few security cameras to stay updated about the progress of the renovation project.