I’m working from home today because we have a plumber coming to look at a few issues we’ve accumulated around the house related to plumbing. So I get up this morning, look around and think, “Holy crap! This place is a wreck.”
I start to clean and an hour and a half later, most of the clutter, random laundry and other stuff that just doesn’t belong is contained. Toilets are scrubbed - inside and out - and the dishes are washed and drying on the rack (part of our problem is that the dishwasher is broken).
My husband was astonished that I would go to this much effort before a contractor got here. My theory is that the poor guy has to get up close and personal with my household plumbing - the last thing I want to do is have the man get up and close with my children’s waste and our dirty dishes.
So - what say you? What do you do before a contractor comes over? Do you clean the whole house, the parts they’ll be fixing or just let it lie (I’m sure whatever the house looks like, they’ve usually seen worse)?
I clean the living room, which is the room they’ll be entering through, and the area I expect they’ll be working in. Then I attempt to clean everything else, but usually don’t finish before they get here.
But yes, I’m “house proud” for contractors, as I am for guests.
We alternate between a light clean and a heavy clean every Saturday. (Light clean=vacuum, dust, clean toilets, wipe down sinks, empty bathroom waste baskets VS Heavy Clean=vacuuming under furniture, mopping down all of the floors, scrubbing down the bathtub and shower, et al). So the house is definitely on the cleaner side of the spectrum to begin with.
However, if we have someone coming over to work on the plumbing (we just got to enjoy a $4500 bill for just that reason a couple weeks ago), we will move stuff out of the area so they can access it with no problem but will forego cleaning until after they’re done as it will probably only cause it to be messier with tracking in and out of the house.
Honestly, we should clean more often than we do. A contractor coming is a good kick in the butt as any other person visiting. So yes, but with the caveat that we might skimp on rooms that the contractor will not see.
If a contractor is coming to do some work I try to make his work area as clean and spacious as possible with good lighting, climate control, available restroom, etc. I like to think that they’ll be more likely to hang out and do a top notch job if their surroundings are comfortable rather than “Egad! This place smells, is too hot, too cold, too cramped, etc. I want to do this job as quick as possible and get the hell out of here.”
I’m horrible at housekeeping, so when I lived on my own things didn’t always look spic and span. If someone was coming on short notice, I did a mad sweep of the house. Throwing things in boxes, shoving laundry and such under beds and of course, the tried and true dirty dishes in the stove.
I clean enough to try to avoid being thought of as a slob. I’ve also been known to casually mention non-existent roommates, to (maybe) throw some of the responsibility off of myself. I need to become a better housekeeper. :dubious:
I would clean the area where I expected work would be done, and the guest bathroom. I would pick up the rest of the house, as much as I could.
But I live with only a husband and a cat, so my house is mostly tidy most of the time.
I’d tidy up, not clean. Meaning clothes would be in the hamper not the floor. I’d also make sure that the area where the contractor will be working is clean. I might not get to the dirty dishes, but I’d at least put them in the oven so it would look like I did.
As a contractor, I appreciate customers at least cleaning the area I’m working in. A surprising number of people don’t. When I give an estimate for something like changing a pressure tank I’ll give specific instructions like please clear a 2 foot path to the tank so we have room to take the old one out and get the new one in. These instructions are frequently ignored, this ends in them paying me a hundred dollars an hour to clean. I don’t mind cleaning but it’s one of those things where I feel it’s such a waste of my time and their money. I will not work in a messy area so pick up before I start and we always leave the work area cleaner than when we started.
I make an effort for my place to be presentable if anyone is coming inside. I barely live outside my bedroom/office so it isn’t all that difficult.
My mother was showing her house one time, and taking care of my brother’s cat, which was not allowed outside (coyotes). She didn’t want to worry about the cat escaping, so she put it in the dryer. True. Cat just sat in there and waited.
Enough so it doesn’t smell bad and they can get to whatever they need to get to. I was a little surprised when the guy who came to swap out the cable modem needed to look at something in the master bedroom; fortunately it was a bit less than picked up but horrifying.
Usually, if things are bad enough a contractor is coming over, things are so bad cleaning is not an option (let me tell you about a recent problem with my roof).
If it’s not an emergency I’ll clean the areas the contractor(s) will see, especially if it will make their job easier.
Speaking as someone who has worked with a contractor, often doing emergency repairs - I don’t care what your home looks like. I’m not paying attention to your laundry, the clutter in your kid’s room, or the state of your sink (unless I’m there to fix the sink). Sure, it’s nice to work in a cleaner and clutter-free environment but since it’s not unusual for me to be coming in after, say, a basement has flooded or a pipe has burst or there’s a hole in the roof due to a storm damage there’s no way your place is going to look pristine.
What is most appreciated is a clear path to where we need to work. If we need to move stuff (for painting jobs, usually) it’s also helpful if you have someplace to move the stuff to.