Builders etiquette?

(19 Posts)
Helliecopter Sun 29-Sep-13 20:48:53

So, our extension project starts tomorrow and having never had a team if builders round before, I'm not sure what the etiquette is on brewing up!
Having two small children I can't exactly be on hand to make tea every day, but definitely want to keep them happy and working hard!

What's the done thing?!

Shamoy Sun 29-Sep-13 20:59:57

I'm 12 weeks into a building project (all over summer hols with 3 kids!) I was the same as you, didn't want to be on hand to be making tea all day and really couldn't have done it. I bought a cheap kettle, big bag of tea bags, sugar, coffee and a massive box of biscuits and just bought a pint of milk each morning. Left them builders mugs out and they made if themselves all day. I just top up the stuff and wash the mugs each day. They eat a LOT of biscuits :-)

southeastastra Sun 29-Sep-13 21:03:03

lol, just tell them where the kettle is!

AnythingNotEverything Sun 29-Sep-13 21:03:30

Just show them where stuff is, or if you don't want them in your kitchen, put your kettle (or a cheap one) in their area with some supplies.

I don't wait on workmen, but don't mind them helping themselves to hot drinks.

Helliecopter Sun 29-Sep-13 21:15:31

Brilliant. Thanks! I bought a shed load of biscuits and tea bags this afternoon. Didn't get coffee though, forgot!

I'll just leave it all out and tell them to help themselves. Saves me asking every 10 mins!

I've disconnected my cooker and packed up my baking stuff, otherwise I'd have baked a batch of cakes to help keep them happy!

PigletJohn Mon 30-Sep-13 00:18:28

you must hide your hoover, broom and other cleaning materials. This is serious. Cement, grit and plaster dust will ruin them.

Give them one mug each and one teapot, and make it clear that if they don't wash them up, there will be no more. Hide all your teaspoons or you will never see them again. Hide all your spare loo rolls, jam, marmalade, cake. They will help themselves to whatever they find, and it will get used up, soiled or broken. Hide or lock away all tools. Take the fuse out of the TV plug. Wrap up the computer, hifi, TV and other electronic devices in polythene, taped shut. Again, builders dust will ruin them. Tell them what toilet they can use and ask them to keep it clean for the duration (they won't). Get a lock for your bathroom door and use it or it will be filthy.

Acting as their servant will not make them respect you, they will just take advantage.

MummytoMog Mon 30-Sep-13 00:21:19

My builders are quite nice, but they leave crap everywhere, don't wipe their feet, or return their mugs and they keep nicking my tools. I've just had to buy my third bucket and I've written 'keep your bleeding mitts off this one' on the side in tippex. They will find this funny, but also should not steal it to mix fucking concrete. The Hoover is knackered. The dustpan and brush was last seen somewhere in the new loft conversion and is probably on the grab lorry. And they wee on the toilet seat.

mamabear35 Mon 30-Sep-13 00:35:39

We had a room put into our roof when I was pregnant with DD2. My builders let themselves into our kitchen through our side door every morning at 8 on the dot so they could make coffee/ tea. I was able to stay in bed cuddling with DD1 without being bothered at all!
They can make their own refreshments if you don't mind giving them access.

We have a tray out on the kitchen side with everything to make drinks with, plus biscuits. Put away anything you don't want them to have. If I'm in I make coffee for them, but that's not very often.

Agree about wrapping and taping everything up, then when it's all Hoover the dust off, fold inwards and discard. Stuff still gets dusty but it's more manageable.

Helliecopter Mon 30-Sep-13 06:21:06

That post scared me a bit PigletJohn!!

I've cleared absolutely everything away already (the old kitchen is being demolished) so they can't access anything I don't leave out. And they bring their own portaloo - that was one of the reasons I chose them!

Luckily we can seal off the rest of the house quite easily although I still anticipate a lot of dust. I'll make sure everything for cleaning is well hidden.

Helliecopter Mon 30-Sep-13 06:23:57

Ps. Am paying enough so don't intend to be their servant!

GertBySea Mon 30-Sep-13 06:31:52

Agree with Mummy re the weeing on the seat. Mine blocked our toilet last week. They did go out to buy unblocker stuff though. Wasn't that nice for anyone in the intervening hours, however.

I love the idea of a kettle in their area though. Wish I had thought of that while ours were still here.

Ours bought their own kettle, tea, biscuits etc and didn't require anything from us! I was heavily pregnant at the time and they used to make me tea and buy me biscuits!!!!

BlogOnTheTyne Mon 30-Sep-13 08:32:58

Ours use our downstairs loo to do their morning poos every single day - and this is a toilet that block easily too! They then open an unopenable window - causing a security risk - as it won't easily close once it's been open - but the smell is awful anyway! I spent an hour yesterday in rubber gloves scrubbing sprayed poo off the toilet seat and back of toilet - not pleasant -and the toilet floor is covered with cement/mud from their boots!

However, I stopped having time to make them tea after the first weke or so and they now bring all their own stuff and don't expect this anymore. I'm too embarrassed to mention the toilet but am hoping the thorough clean at the w/e will alert them to keeping it clean!

Fortunately, the wroks they're doing mean they don't have to come into any of the main rooms in the house. So I leave them to it (I work from home anyway, upstairs and don't have time to interact after a brief hello each morning.

nicelyneurotic Mon 30-Sep-13 10:04:49

When we had building work I found our builders to be nice, normal people who respected our house and just got on with the work and cleaned up after themselves. Same for our plasterers, bathroom fitters, carpenters etc - we had them all in.

They definitely didn't steal loo roll and help themselves to food. And you can't lock them out of your bathroom!

If I wasn't around I left out tea and a variety of biscuits for them but they hardly had any.

Be nice to them and they'll be nice back. It will be fine.

Helliecopter Mon 30-Sep-13 15:54:25

Well, they're being lovely so far and have appreciated the brew box, and only opened one packet of biscuits. Mostly brewed up for themselves and my MIL has done one round of cuppas too. All going well for now.

Loo roll is fine. No poos so far that I have noticed, but their portaloo is arriving on site tomorrow, so they can use that to poo if they want!!

MrsZimt Mon 30-Sep-13 16:21:22

We've had all sorts of builders in our house over the last year (kitchen-dining room break through, complete rewiring , replumbing, loft conversion) and nothing got stolen, not a single cup broken.

They were very considerate, only used their own stuff (in fact I borrowed loads of tools from them I would have had to hire otherwise) and cleaned up after themselves every night.
There are still some screwdrivers and a strange sort of spanner here we don't know who left them behind. A big stepladder is also still here for me to paint the hallway in the loft which is 13 feet high.

They were extremely happy with (but didn't expect) biscuits.

We sort of gave up on the dust in the end. There was no way we could seal of sections of the house as there was work being done all over (every ceiling in this house was knocked down and reboarded, replastered).

Good luck with your extension, try and keep your sanity brew

spotty26 Mon 30-Sep-13 18:50:48

The Electrician "laid a cable" in our family bathroom (if you get me), it stank. To add insult to injury he used my Michael Kors perfume to "mask" the stench. Charming.

Helliecopter Mon 30-Sep-13 20:54:32

Ha!! That's not on at all!

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