There’s never a good time for things to go wrong, but the boiler packing up or your electrics going bang in the middle of a pandemic isn’t exactly great timing. So what should you do if you need a tradesperson in your home during COVID?
AD – this post is in conjunction with Local Heroes about having a tradesperson in your home during COVID but all thoughts are my own.
With the Government issuing restrictions on what we can and can’t do, it might seem strange to let a tradesperson in your home during COVID, but we are actually allowed to. And thank goodness we are, especially when there’s an emergency.
The exact thing happened to us just before Christmas – and we ended up actually having to have two tradespeople around! Our house uses a Saniflow and septic tank system rather than it being on the mains for waste, and you can guess it. It all went wrong.
Turns out the pump mechanism that pumps waste to our tank (so quite important!) had gone wrong. But for some reason it was tripping the electrics to our house! I’d explain that further, if I had any clue how it worked…
You know when a lightbulb or fuse goes and then you’re suddenly in darkness with nothing working? Well this was happening ALL the time and we COULDN’T figure it out. We assumed it must be the light in our downstairs toilet, but even if we didn’t touch it, the electrics still tripped.
We needed a tradesperson – or two!
Cue three visits from an electrician later, literally isolating and testing every circuit in our house. He concluded it was the electric pump – it tripped the electrics when we pulled the flush. I didn’t even know it could do that!
So then we had to have a second tradesman around – on Christmas Eve of all days – a plumber to fit us a new pump. Merry Christmas to us!
We could have left it and just not used that loo, but with three young boys – including the twins who are only recently toilet trained – we basically couldn’t stop them wandering in there when they needed to go, it was such a habit.
Can you have a tradesperson in your home during COVID?
I admit I did have to check if you were even allowed a tradesperson in your home during COVID. But you can still request a job within the trades of heating, gas, plumbing, drainage, appliances and electrical.
And then there was the slight concern over how it would work. I mean, you couldn’t have your own parents in your house, but you could have an electrician and plumber.
If you have something go wrong and need a tradesperson in your home during COVID you may be having the same concerns, but help is at hand!
Luckily there’s a great initiative called Local Heroes which is backed by British Gas, that matches skilled and vetted local tradespeople to customers who need jobs completed in their home quickly and easily. And they have come up with a Tradespeople and COVID-19 guide, and an Etiquette Guide to help people like you and I out.
One of the main aims of Local Heroes as an initiative is to provide peace of mind to customers and this is even more true during the pandemic. They want everyone to stay safe when using local tradespeople to fix jobs around the home. They know we can’t choose when our boiler decides to break down, but they also want to keep both customers and tradespeople safe.
Local Heroes know people will have questions about having a tradesperson in your home during COVID so has some specific advice for customers.
Questions about having a tradesperson in your home during COVID
Can I expect a tradesperson to wear a mask?
Put simply, the answer is yes. Tradespeople are advised to wear a mask in a customer’s home. And if they are not, it is perfectly acceptable for you to ask them to wear one. They should also be wearing gloves and shoe coverings. And don’t be tempted to shake their hand!
Should I offer a tradesperson hand sanitiser?
Of course you are welcome to offer it, but any point of contact, however small, is a risk. So don’t feel you have to. Local Heroes tradespeople are advised to bring their own and wash their hands regularly whenever possible. And of course, you should keep a safe distance from each other when you have a tradesperson in your home during COVID.
Can I offer a tradesperson a cup of tea?
If you’re anything like me, that’s the first thing I always do. We like to be friendly and hospitable! But we’re being advised not to as it’s another point of contact we should try to avoid. Don’t worry about seeming rude – they will understand.
How should I handle cash payments?
During the pandemic it is being advised to avoid using cash as much as possible for safety reasons. Try to pay electronically if you can. Work done by Local Heroes can be paid online; in this way you also unlock the Local Heroes 12 months guarantee backed by British Gas.
Should I perform a deep clean once the tradesperson has gone?
Local Heroes are asked to follow government guidelines around cleaning, so any objects or surfaces they touch should be cleaned regularly. Also any belongings they have are brought back with them. But if it gives you more peace of mind, then clean away!
What happens if I’m self-isolating?
If you are self-isolating, then you should let your tradesperson know beforehand. Their next job may be for a vulnerable person, or they might have elderly relatives at home.
Basically, if you need a tradesperson in your home during COVID, then you can have one. You just need to apply some common sense and follow simple guidelines. And your job will be fixed in no time.
Because let’s face it, this whole COVID thing is bad enough, without a boiler breaking down. Or not being able to flush your loo without plunging your entire house into darkness!
If you like a bit of social media madness, pop over to my Facebook page where you’ll be able to have a laugh at what ridiculousness goes on in my house with three very small boys on a daily basis. Warning – there is often sarcasm, and usually swearing. There are also great travel reviews and some AWESOME giveaways. Feel free to join my Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee – Shits and Giggles Parenting Group too, where everyone shares their hilarious stories.
And if you want to work with me, feel free to give me a shout here or at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you.