Although measures here in the UK are slowly being eased, there are still rules in place about social distancing and keeping safe. With this in mind, here are some tips for keeping you and your household safe at this somewhat confusing time.
Ways to Keep Yourself Safe at Home When Tradespeople Visit
Firstly, work out whether the work you’re considering is essential. Things like blocked drains need to be dealt with right away while other, less urgent work can wait. If it is necessary, see if a tradesperson can help either over the phone or using video calling. If a trade requires access, firstly, check if they have any coronavirus symptoms. If they do, they shouldn’t enter under any circumstances.
Otherwise, practice social distancing and use PPE equipment like a face covering. Regularly wash hands for 20 seconds with hot water and soap, or use hand sanitizer. Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue and dispose of this in the bin. Clean and disinfect commonly touched objects like kettles and door handles.
How to Protect Vulnerable People or those with Symptoms
As a rule, you shouldn’t invite tradespeople into your home if a member of your household is over 70, has an underlying health condition or is pregnant. This is also true when someone in your house has coronavirus symptoms.
If a tradesperson must enter your home, they need to take reasonable measures to protect the vulnerable person. The vulnerable person may also need to further separate themselves from the rest of the household.
Making Sure Your Tradesperson Stays Safe
Ask your tradesperson what measures they’ll use to keep everyone safe. They may suggest screening your household before visiting. Large companies may have a statement on their website about the actions they will use to protect their customers. In contrast, smaller companies will probably need to be contacted directly.
What to Do if You Already Have Work Booked in
Start by working out whether the work is necessary. Can it be delayed? Your contract with your tradesperson plays a large part in this. If a contract hasn’t been signed, you’ll be entitled to back out, even if you’re within the 14 days cooling-off period.
If this has passed, check the clause about making changes on your contract to see what penalties could occur if you were to change or cancel the work. Even if the agreement appears to be set in stone, it’s still worth having a conversation with your tradesperson. They might be able to negotiate, based on the current circumstances.
Dealing with Projects that have Already Started
Urgent projects like a half-finished kitchen or bathroom need to be completed, regardless. As long as the work can be carried out safely, measures are in place, and there’s little risk.
Consider that your tradesperson might need to cancel, or re-arrange the work and be flexible. Above all, be communicative with your tradesperson. You’d be surprised at how well this can manage conflicts and iron out compromises.