When news of a deadly virus started spreading across the world in December of 2019, most people had no idea how much this new disease would affect their lives. But as COVID-19 started to spread, it became evident that this pandemic would halt life as we knew it for a little while. In March, the world went into lockdown, being asked to work and go to school from home while keeping their bubble small and avoiding social situations. As the pandemic has continued, businesses have begun opening again with precautions in place to slow the spread of infection. Depending on your comfort level, you may be working in-person again or going about some sense of a normal life. The world spins on. Babies are born, people change jobs, and homes are built or improved upon. And with everyone spending so much time in their homes, it’s still crucial that your home stays safe and comfortable.
If you’re planning a big home improvement project or need a contractor to fix an issue during these COVID-19 times, you may have some questions about how to keep you and the contractors working in your home as safe as possible. After months of being told not to leave your home, it can feel strange to invite in total strangers who may be doing significant work for an extended period of time. At the end of the day, it’s all about your comfort level and helping protect higher-risk individuals. But with certain precautions, there’s no reason your home improvement project or maintenance fix can’t be completed during this time. Follow the precautions by avoiding close contact, following social distancing, and wearing a mask at all times. While this may seem like an inconvenience in the moment, protecting yourself and your technicians from COVID-19 is the most important thing.
Only call professionals when you absolutely need to.
In a pre-pandemic world, you may have had the ability to call a contractor whenever a slight issue arose. Maybe your light fixture was faulty or your shower started leaking again. It was easy to call up a contractor to fix any and all little issues. Now, when you’re trying to avoid close contact with strangers, it’s more important that you only call professionals when you absolutely need them. This may mean stepping up and fixing simple leaks and issues on your own.
Of course, when a big issue arises like a problem with the sewer line or a serious plumbing issue, that is the best time to call a professional plumber by searching for “plumbing mesquite TX” or wherever you call home. In the case of a plumbing emergency, this team will help your home feel as good as new for a fair price. Sometimes the trickiest issues really do need a plumber with years of experience in order to solve and do a great job rather than a subpar at-home fix.
Start with a virtual consultation.
During these unprecedented times, many contractors and technicians, like plumbers, are offering virtual consultations. If you’re trying to determine what needs fixing or if you can do the job on your own, you can video chat with your contractor team to get a consultation. Even if they end up needing to come to do work in person, starting virtually minimizes the amount of time you’re in close contact with each other. Often these consultations will come with a free estimate so you can start planning financially as well.
Prepare for a few days of disruption to your daily routine.
For the past several months, you’ve been living, working, and socializing all from the comfort of your own home. Chances are you’ve created your own oasis and level of comfort. Be aware that major home improvement fixes or projects may mean contractors will be disrupting your daily routine for a few days. Maybe it’s time to trade out the pajamas for tunics on sale or attire that seems a little more put together. You can still be comfortable and cute while looking more presentable for the strangers that are going to be working in your house.
You may have a hard time working or going to school with the distraction of loud construction noise. If possible and if you’re comfortable consider getting out of the house for a few days. Maybe go work outside at a park or at a library that has social distancing. If another family member is inside your COVID-19 bubble, maybe you can stay with them for a few days. As homeowners, it’s natural to want to be at home monitoring the building and maintenance situation, but if you are nervous about the spread of the virus or the distraction, it may be worth getting away for a while.
Be upfront about your rules and expectations
During this unprecedented time, communication is more important than ever. Be upfront with your contractors about the rules and expectations in your home. If you have specific boundaries, set them. Ultimately, they are coming into your space, so as long as you lay out your ground rules, they should happily oblige. Chances are, your team will already be following some COVID-19 precautions, so you shouldn’t have to push too hard on this one.
Communication is also a two-way street. Your contractor has probably made adjustments to their routine as well. Ask what they are doing to minimize the spread and make sure none of their team is infected. So many businesses are doing an awesome job of temperature checking and testing their employees. They’ve also lowered touch-based interactions by signing contracts online and only taking credit card payments. Ask about the ways they are working to keep you safe because chances are, they’ve gone the extra mile to help keep you and their team safe and comfortable.
Encourage hand washing for contractors and your family.
Remember to take precautions for their safety as well.
As you’re working to keep your family safe, it’s helpful to remember that your contractors have families and important people back at home too. Even in your own home, wear a mask while communicating with your team. Don’t invite them in if you’re experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, such as shortness of breath or a fever. Their job doesn’t necessarily allow them to quarantine, so it’s up to you to take your own precautions for their safety as well.
Stay patient and flexible – we’re all in this together.
With new information about COVID-19 coming every day, your contractor’s schedule and situation could be changing every day. Be patient and flexible when you can. If a project needs to be delayed for a few weeks due to a contractor coming down with the virus, remember your safety is more important. We are all in this together, and complaining or being difficult isn’t helping anyone. Remember to stay kind, compassionate, and flexible as your contractors and your family continue to navigate this ever-changing COVID-19 environment.
Additional resources and related reading:
– Why virtual events are now more important than ever.
– How to keep your workspace safe during a pandemic?