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Are you okay with leaving when people are working in your house?

 
 
Reply Tue 22 Feb, 2011 07:33 pm
We had people working in the house for the last week and a half. They'll be here for another week.

There are a lot of things I'm not getting done because I don't feel right leaving the house when people are here working.

I like and trust the contractor who has worked with us before and who typically does a lot of the work himself. I don't mind leaving the house when he's here and I don't mind leaving the back door unlocked so that he can get in when I'm not here.

But sometimes he brings crew members over and I'm not sure I like them knowing which door might be unlocked.

Or how to appease the dog.

Or.... them just being here when I'm not here and the contractor isn't here.

But right now I have a shitpile of things I have to do and I really need to be out and about during school hours, which are also working hours.

How do you all handle this?
 
Swimpy
 
  3  
Reply Tue 22 Feb, 2011 07:40 pm
@boomerang,
I don't have a problem with it. I have people come to my house to do work all the time when I'm not home. No one has ever stolen anything.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Feb, 2011 07:43 pm
@Swimpy,
Thanks, Swimpy. I'm not sure why I have this hang up but it sounds like I need to get over it!
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Feb, 2011 08:17 pm
@Swimpy,
I've done a lot of remodeling, sometimes with landscaping - I once counted seven places, quite a bit of it done by me or my husband, and some by hired recommended electricians or plumbers (well, one, back in Venice was a friend in the first place), landscape people I knew from work.
Sometimes I was not working for a few months at a time (taking no clients) and stayed home to remodel except for errands, and sometimes I was not there at all, off at work and leaving them to it. Only trouble I ever had was with a guy who was on an associate's crew, a previous meth addict, and he was both a fool and full of temper. But even he didn't steal anything. I'm lucky though, knowing people who knew people who were good, if I didn't know them myself already.
I made a mistake on hiring a fellow here in New Mexico, but that was my money saving self in action, and he meant well.

Only person who ever stole from me was one of two people, one a theater director and one a friend's son, both needing drug money, and that was, gads, 35 years ago.
0 Replies
 
Region Philbis
 
  3  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 04:59 am
@boomerang,

we never let workers into our home when we are not here.
never ever...
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 05:41 am
@Region Philbis,
How about the dust bunny fairy? How does he get into your house to do his contracted work and leave dust bunnies under your sofas and dining room tables and beds?
0 Replies
 
laughoutlood
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 05:48 am
@boomerang,
Quote:
Are you okay with leaving when people are working in your house?


No. I'm paranoid that they will do something. I watch them through the third to bottom most slat on the venetians, uno those micro slim ones with the perforations tres chic and not so exxy to clean although now that ive sold the wagon i dont know how i'll get the bigger ones down and out and off to the electrostatic cleaning place even tho its only two miles away as the new car yes so new leather top of the range ooo i so deserve it v8 ive always wanted grunt
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 06:11 am
@boomerang,
Talk to the contractor openly and directly - his people are his responsibility. I'm assuming you're leaving no jewelry, silverware or other valuables in plain view (after movers stole fur coats, gold lighters etc from my home I learned that lesson) and so your main concern is the dog. That's the easiest one to fix - ask the contractor to bring all the people he intends to use on your job to the house at a time when you're there and see how the dog reacts to them individually. Dogs are the best judges of character who ever lived; if the dog likes all the workmen, you can safely leave the house to them.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 07:08 am
I don't really have anything that someone might steal so it isn't that I'm worried about things going missing.

But one time they left the front door open while they were hauling stuff in and out and the dog scared the crap out of the mailman. I was here so when I heard the dog bolt for the door I was able to call him back.

One time a guy left for the day leaving the back gate open. My dog is a pretty well behaved dog, he's not going to wander off or anything but he's really protective of the house. There are also a couple of dogs that get walked past the house on a twice daily basis that are not so nice.

But really it just feels weird to know there are people in the house when I'm not here.

My dad was a contractor and I remember him complaining about losing whole days because they weren't able to get hold of the homeowner. Of course this was back before cell phones.....
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 10:12 am
@High Seas,
High Seas wrote:
Dogs are the best judges of character who ever lived; if the dog likes all the workmen, you can safely leave the house to them.


Actually I was just reading about this re: police dogs -- dogs are extremely good judges of what their owner thinks about other people, which is a little different.

http://reason.com/archives/2011/02/21/the-mind-of-a-police-dog

Quote:
For the first few years I had her, I was impressed by my late dog Harper's uncanny ability to assess people's character. She hated every crappy landlord and bad roommate. Barked at them. Snarled at them. Wouldn't go near them. But if I brought home a date I liked, Harper, a Shar Pei/Labrador mix, would curl up right next to the woman and turn on the charm. It took me several years to figure out that my dog wasn't a good judge of character; she was just good at reading me. She liked the people I liked and disliked the people who rubbed me the wrong way.

[...]

When we think dogs are using their well-honed noses to sniff out drugs or criminal suspects, they may actually be displaying a more recently evolved trait: an urgent desire to please their masters, coupled with the ability to read their cues.


I tend to not leave workpeople here alone either. It hasn't been an issue very often -- our biggest home improvement project thus far has been getting a new roof -- but I understand your concern, especially in terms of the dog and what might happen with him.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 10:55 am
@boomerang,
I usually stay home (or hubby), but I will run out for short stints if need be - I wouldn't stay out long, but maybe to run a quick errand.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 10:58 am
@boomerang,
I'm more like you - it isn't the stealing, but it just seems odd to have some one you don't know in your house alone.

I once was listening to a radio station and some one called in saying that a neighbor told them their gardener was outside wearing their daughter's school uniform.

You never know what sort of odd ball things could happen.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  3  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 11:20 am
@boomerang,
I've been on the other side of this a few times, working on people's computers.

I find it very uncomfortable if there's no one else in the house. On the other hand, I don't like it when people hover over me....
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 11:20 am
@Swimpy,
Swimpy wrote:

I don't have a problem with it.


I'm with Swimpy on this about the house.

I won't leave the dogs with anyone I don't know.

0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  3  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 11:34 am
@DrewDad,
yup.

I work at other folks houses quite often too.

I won't do it if there is not an adult present on the property. (long time customers are different)

too many risks both ways.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 11:57 am
I'm glad to know I'm not alone!

I have to be out and about a bit this morning. I'm just going to take the dog with me. He loves to ride in the car but hates to sit and wait.

I hadn't really thought about what it might be like for them to be here working when nobody is around. At least today they'll be working in just one area of the house -- over the last week they've been replacing all the pipes so they've been everywhere. Yikes what a mess.
Swimpy
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 04:02 pm
@boomerang,
After reading all of the other comments, I can see why you might be concerned. I live in a small city and I know the folks that are working on my house, for the most part. It's probably more of an issue in a bigger city. Re: the dog: One time when I was dog sitting my granddog, who was obliviously sleeping on the couch when the guy came to the door. He took one step inside the house and when he saw her he turned tail ad rushed out the door. He said, "I'll stay here until you put that dog in another room."

I could see workers having a problem with a dog loose in the house when the owner is gone.
0 Replies
 
 

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