Blog: Contractor Chatter

4 Steps to Home Repairs During COVID-19

 

Home repairs during COVID-19 & essential services

Scheduling handyman services and other home repairs during COVID-19 can seem daunting.  The COVID-19 pandemic has led to shelter-in-place and other isolation-inducing mandates across the nation. Each municipality has their own caveats to such requirements. Bellevue and the greater Seattle area are no exception.  In fact, all of Washington is required to comply with Governor Inslee’s Stay-Home, Stay-Safe Initiative.

It is true, non-essential construction is not permitted under the state mandate. However, essential service work is still going strong. Governor Inslee’s proclamation listed service-call companies as “essential businesses.’’ This is due to the fact that homeowners have the right to maintain the “essential operation” of their homes.

So, tackling home repairs during COVID-19 is possible.

You can click the link to learn how HTPB is protecting their clients and team members during a site visit. However, if you are not located in the King County area read on.  Read on to learn the expectations you need to set your home repair contractor in order to stay safe.

How to handle handyman service calls during the outbreak

Homeowners everywhere are wondering how handyman service calls should be handled during the coronavirus outbreak. As a result, we did all the research to provide you with the best recommendations that we have come across.

Here’s are the four steps you need to take in order to effectively manage home repairs during COVID-19:

Step #1: Scheduling services

During your upfront phone conversations with your service provider, you need to have a candid conversation about the specifics.  Be honest about your exposure and ask your service provided about the potential of exposure on their side. Specifically ask about the individual who will be assigned to your project.  Who will you be expecting to meet on the day of your in-home visit? Was that specific technician ever subject to exposure? Do they have any cold or flu-like symptoms?

Such questions are imperative.  It is also important to ask about the social distancing and other precautions the company is taking to reduce risk.

Step #2: Prepare for your home visit

Before the date of your site visit, you need to plan how the service worker will enter your home. If the work area is closest to the back or side door, it makes most sense to have them enter there.  In any case, you need to know how you will allow the worker to access the work area to ensure you know exactly what rooms they will be in.  This way no unnecessary contact is made and you will be aware of anything they may touch. You will also want to plan out where you will direct the tradesperson to set their tools when they are in your home. This is important as you will want to clean the surface after the work is complete.

Tips on preping the work area:

It is a good idea to do any prep work yourself if at all possible. Placing disposable floor protection (kraft paper or painter’s plastic) on the floor can provide the installer a clean working surface. It also provides a place to stage materials and tools in such a way that allows for a quick clean up and the removal of any germs that may be present on such items.  Self-preping will help to limit the amount of time the technician is in your home. Additionally, you might not be aware of the effect your germs may have on an outsider, so it is strongly recommended that you disinfect the work area prior to the date of your site visit.

HTPB Home Repair and COVID-19

Step #3: The Site Visit

Schedule a day-of phone call when the tradesperson is in route.  This way current, personal health conditions can be discussed on both sides and you can reschedule if necessary. If either party is uncomfortable for any reason, reschedule.  At this point you both will have to trust each other enough to take each other’s word at face value. So, everyone needs to be completely honest here. We have found that a number of homeowners are concerned as to whether or not their technician will hide their past risk of exposure. This is due to the fact that staff may still need to work in order to prevent financial hardships.  Rest assured the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act, ensures all workers are eligible for two weeks of emergency paid sick leave and 10 weeks of paid family and medical leave, among other measures. With all the sensationalized news reports on federal aid, the majority of workers know they can stay home and get paid, so those that are working should be considered trustworthy, honest people.

Moving forward

If you decide to move forward with your repairs as scheduled, here’s what to remember: (1) Greet the technician at the door, ask them to put on a new pair of disposable gloves, invite them in, and then step back. (2) Keeping to the 6’ social distancing guideline is key. (3) If you are overly concerned, it would not be unthinkable to ask the tech to put a mask or face covering on.

Finally, here are some no-touch tips to keep in mind: If you need to touch or hand off anything at all, wear gloves. If you need to sign any paperwork, use your own pen and keep your hands off the clipboard. If you need to digitally sign a touch screen, use your own stylus.

Step #4: After the Visit

Clean and disinfect everything the craftsman came in contact with.  Then, disinfect the work area and a 6-foot perimeter around the work area to ensure the space really gets clean. Don’t forget to wash your hands, lathering them together using an ample amount of soap for a minimum of twenty seconds.

Following these four steps will allow you to get home repairs during COVID-19 finished in the safest way possible.

Scheduling your repair project

If essential repairs arise and you live in King and surrounding counties, considering HTPB’s Home-Call Services will ensure a safe approach is taken on your project.  The safety and health of our clients and team members is at the top of our mind, so we have implemented some serious precautions into our service packages at no extra charge to our customers. If you need to complete any essential services or home repairs during COVID-19, contacting HTP Builders for work under their handyman services division will provide you with the peace of mind that you are staying safe and staying healthy.

High Tech Pacific Builders offers a wide array of services and can help you with just about any essential or emergency repairs as they may arise.

By choosing HTPB you’ll be in good hands.

To learn more about the precautions our team is taking click here to review our ever-evolving approach that will keep you and your family safe during repair projects.

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