5 Important Etiquette Guidelines For Your Subcontractors

Working with subcontractors is important for your business, but there’s some etiquette guidelines you should instruct them to respect when working on the job site.

Both contractors and subcontractors have very similar etiquette to follow, but time and time again homeowners may direct themselves towards you to complain about subcontractor behaviour.

It’s important to follow certain rules to ensure a great customer experience for homeowners, as this greatly increases your chances of being hired again or being recommended with high regards. Let’s take a look at the most common homeowner complaints about and how to avoid them with your subcontractors.

1. Don’t leave tools lying around

Your subcontractors might need places to lay down their tools, obviously, but they should never do so on the homeowner’s property – or on top of finished surfaces. Contractor tools are often heavy and sharp, making them able to easily scratch wood, plastic, and metal.

Instruct your subcontractors to either store their tools on a personal bag, or provide them with a table specifically for this purpose where they can store tools freely without causing problems.

Same goes for leaving tools around the jobsite when they leave. They should always be stored away so as to not be stolen, damaged, or straight up lost. Besides, when dealing with homeowners, it’s never a good sight to arrive at a deserted jobsite after work hours and find a huge mess of neglected tools.

2. Taking smoke breaks in the premises

One of the most common complaints when it comes to subcontractors is smoking on the jobsite. Taking scheduled breaks is not a problem at all, in fact, they are required to ensure a healthy work routine.

But smoking can be very disruptive to anyone nearby because of the smell – and let’s not forget about cigarette butts left on the property. Strangely, this is one of the most common complaints ever for both contractors and subcontractors, so be sure to prevent it from ever happening.

The best way to ensure healthy breaks is to schedule them beforehand and instruct subcontractors to not smoke anywhere near the property. Whether one should smoke or not is an entirely different subject, but we can all agree it is unprofessional to do so in a job site or someone else’s home.

3. Noise pollution

A lot of people love listening to music while they work and there’s no problem with that… but you should not disturb others because of it. While on a jobsite, the most that can be recommended is allowing subcontractors to listen to music while wearing headphones, but even this should be done with caution, as auditory warnings can be important to safety on certain jobs.

Besides, job sites are often already filled with all sorts of noise from machinery and tools being hammered on all day long. Adding loud music to that would only cause further pollution to the entire neighborhood where the job is taking place.

4. Respect private quarters

Under no circumstances should your subcontractors enter private quarters for any reason. Usually this happens when there’s a need to use the bathroom, but subcontractors should not have to rely on a homeowner’s bathroom. Bathrooms are too intimate and should be avoided.

The solution is simple: for jobs that require subcontractors to stay a long time on the site, rent a portable toilet. 

Likewise, some jobs will require subcontractors to be inside the house. Instruct them to leave things as they are if they ever have to tweak something required for the job (such as thermostats, outlets, furniture, etc.).

And naturally, to never wander inside rooms where they are not necessary or allowed explicit permission for the purpose of performing the job.

5. Dress like a pro

While it’s not always necessary to have everyone in uniforms, it’s at least recommended to have some sort of dress code enabled.

If you can provide everyone with custom uniforms, that’s obviously a major bonus. It keeps everyone looking good and sends a very professional image on your services. If you cannot provide uniforms, that’s not a problem, just be sure to instruct your subcontractors on some guidelines – the main one being not working with shirts off and always use closed shoes.

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