Because of the pandemic, home projects have slowed down to a degree, but not everything can wait. Sometimes a project needs a bit more urgency and you have to hire a pro to take care of it, pandemic or not. This is why today I’ll be giving you the best tips for hiring pros during the pandemic!
The entire process will have both sides exercising caution and clever use of technology. Some of the usual steps can be done in different ways, but a lot of precaution is required nonetheless.
Let’s break down the most important tips and ensure you can hire local pros during the pandemic while remaining safe!
“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today." – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
The first step is basically the same as any other job, pandemic or not: get a few options. The best way to find the perfect pro and know if the cost is competitive is to get more than one option from the very start.
Luckily, you can find local contractors online and request a free quote, making it easy to find the best price range in your area. This will help you greatly on following up with the project later on!
And of course, all of this can be done virtually – no need for meetings or leaving the house, which is exactly what we need.
Make your research
Once you’ve found a pro that you’re interested in working with, it’s time to make some research.
A great way to start is to ask for references and previous projects from other clients, since that’s a reliable way to know if the pro is up to your expectations. It doesn’t hurt to check their social media profile and website too – everything counts when making a first impression, after all.
At this point, you can also chat about your ideas for the project to see how the pro reacts and what they suggest. Bounce some ideas around, see if the conversation flows... all of that matters!
Inquire about pandemic safety
Alright, now let’s get into the specifics. When getting in touch with contractors, you should always ask about their COVID safety protocols. Here are some things to note:
- Will all workers be wearing masks?
- Will hand sanitizer be available for everyone?
- What’s the procedure when the job requires touching many areas in the house?
- How long will workers stay on site?
These are just some pointers to get you started. It’s important to know if the professional is taking COVID precaution seriously in the first place, but remember that you can also contribute to make the job flow a lot easier. Be cooperative and proactive to help, because remember: basic pandemic safety is also your responsibility.
Use tech to your advantage
This is where it gets interesting.
You can skip a lot of the usual meet and greet with clever use of technology. The more direct contact that can be avoided, the better. Here are just a few things you can do:
Sign contracts. It’s possible to sign any sort of document digitally with the use of Adobe PDF (or another PDF manager).
Touch-free payment. Credit card payment requests can be sent to you by the contractor, allowing you to pay from the comfort of your home.
Video Calls. Why meet in person when you can chat via video call? A meeting in person would require one or both parties to get out, drive and meet somewhere, all of which increases the risk of infection (even if you take necessary precautions). During video meetings you can trade links, share your screen to discuss ideas, all the while chatting in a natural way.
Know the limitations
Contractors have taken the hit of this pandemic and continued to work to the best of their abilities, but at this point some limitations may still apply.
For example, if a project requires several hours of work at once, progress might be slower than usual due to necessary breaks or intervals. Remember that masks are mandatory and breathing, especially for long periods of time while performing physically demanding work, isn’t exactly easy.
Also, it’s quite common for contractors to get the job done while you’re at work, but since many homeowners are working from home now, that poses a challenge. Will you be at home while the work is done? Can you do so without disrupting their work, or the other way around? Some projects can be quite loud, if you have a baby that needs to sleep, how will that work?
It’s a lot to work around. Communication is the key here – talk to the contractor and decide what’s best for both of you. After all, both of you are dealing with the limitations of the pandemic in your own way.
Need to find the right pro for the job? Get free quotes today from professional contractors in your area and start a new project!