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Shocking Requests Tradespeople Get From Homeowners

American style house with front porch alongside text reading 'Homeowners Shocking Requests'

As a tradesperson, you’ll have a lot to deal with. Not only do you want to get your job done, but you also have to travel far and wide. You’re continually restocking your toolkit and dealing with requests at all times of the day – and night. While it can sometimes become tiring, it’s all part of the job. You know what you signed up for when you entered the industry, and luckily, you love your job.

Whether you’re at someone’s home to service their boiler or rewire a room, it’s not uncommon for customers to make a few extra requests. A survey by MyJobQuote found that 65% of tradespeople have been asked to do something outside their job description.

It’s one thing when a regular elderly customer asks for help putting up a shelf, but there are some people whose requests are almost shameless.

Move Furniture – 4%

Sometimes you have to move furniture to get where you need to be, and most tradespeople understand this.

If, however, you’re there to plaster a room and when you arrive it’s still full of furniture and mess, charge accordingly for your effort and time.

Taking Things To The Attic – 8%

Sometimes things like this are just part of the job. If it’s for an elderly customer or someone less able to do it, tradespeople will happily help them.

However, if asked to put all the Christmas decorations in the attic whilst in the middle of something else, feel free to say no.

Buy Groceries – 9%

It’s one thing quickly popping to the shop if there’s no milk left and your van is blocking the homeowner’s car anyway, but to be given a shopping list is a step too far. It’s not your job to do someone’s weekly shop.

If you ever end up in this situation, make sure you charge for your time and are paid/reimbursed for the items.

Babysit Children – 10%

If you’re working for someone you know, that’s one thing. But, if you’re working for a stranger, do not agree to look after children.

Looking after a child is a serious responsibility, and your insurance doesn’t cover you if anything happens.

Sweep/Vacuum – 18%

The jury is still out on this one, and generally, people have differing opinions on whether tradespeople should be doing the cleaning.

In our opinion, leave the space how you found it. If you’ve made a mess, clean it up, but don’t do all the household chores.

Take The Bins Out – 22%

22% of those surveyed said customers had asked them to take the bins out. Of course, taking out rubble and rubbish accumulated on the job is expected, but taking out household rubbish? Again, it’s not your job.

That said, if the homeowner struggles to take it out themselves, there’s no harm in doing it.

Wash Up – 26%

Cleaning up all the mugs you’ve used throughout the day is a nice gesture and will certainly be appreciated by the homeowner.

However, politely decline if customers ask you to wash up their dirty dishes.

Answer The Phone/Make A Phonecall – 27%

27% of tradespeople have been asked to answer or make a phone call for customers.

Unless related to your work, it’s not up to you to make or take calls.

Make Hot Drinks – 36%

If it’s just you and your team in the property, you’ll have to make your drinks.

Generally speaking, though, it’s appreciated when homeowners make the brews.

Answer The Door – 61%

Over half of the tradespeople surveyed have been asked to answer the door. Of course, it makes sense to do if you’re waiting for a delivery or the customer is out. Be aware of the risks of letting someone into the house, though.

Dealing With Requests

As a general rule of thumb, tradespeople should only undertake the work they’re hired to do. But that doesn’t mean you can’t help people out. Sometimes going that extra mile for customers can not only reflect brilliantly on you, but it can make their day. Even staying for tea and a chat can make a huge difference.

Becoming A Tradesperson

Dealing with requests that aren’t in their job descriptions is just a tiny part of being in the industry, and the positives outweigh the negatives of the job. Working in the trades comes with a lot of perks. You get to meet new people daily, the support within the industry is incredible, and no two days are the same. 

So if you’re interested in entering the industry, either as an electrician or gas engineer, get in touch with us today.

All data correct at time of publication.