From Today’s Caregiver
Now that we are all entering our third month of sheltering-in-place, I’m sure some of our pets (talking about you, cats) would love it if we left them alone and some think this is the best thing since the invention of doggie treats (you know who you are).
Another consequence for so many of us is dealing with the effects of all the extra wear and tear on our homes. This may involve the services of a contractor (plumbing, HVAC, appliance repair or replacement, etc.) Although most service providers are honest and upstanding professionals, it pays to heed the following advice as not to land in Contractor Hell. Which is not pleasant at any time but much less so these days.
Advice for dealing with contractors during Covid-19
- Check ‘em out! If you don’t have a provider you have worked with before, ask friends and neighbors for suggestions. Go to the Better Business Bureau and state websites to check on any complaints against their license. Ask for references
- Find out in advance what safety measures they and their staff will be employing when in your house. Masks, gloves, social distancing, etc. Pay attention to where they go in your home, so you can disinfect after they are finished.
- Make sure you and your family members are wearing masks and keep your distance while the workers are in your space. Leave the room while they are working, if possible.
- Make sure they have a license. Many times, even if there is a license associated with the business, you never deal directly with the license holder. Make sure that the person is aware you will refer them to the proper authorities, if necessary.
- Insist on a time and payment schedule, with penalties for missed scheduled commitments and rewards for beating the schedule with competent work.
- Do not give anyone cash. Never. Not for any reason. Get receipts and when the work is done-get warranties.
- Do not pay in advance. If you are asked to pay too much before the work is done – worry.
- Watch the paperwork. Re-total figures. Ask questions. Demand proof. Demand receipts. It is your money, after all.
- “If in doubt, don’t lay it out!”. Get good advice from your attorney if you feel that someone may be taking advantage of you.
- Trust yourself. Don’t settle for answers that don’t ring true.
Now that you’ve passed Contractor 101, may you never have to take the final exam.