We all have certain expectations when we choose someone to do work at our homes. Whether a painter, electrician, plumber or an air conditioning contractor. Think about what your priorities are. I’ve made a list of mine below.

Well, being neat and clean and treating my home with respect would be at the top of my list. I want the guy who is providing me with an estimate to replace my windows to clean his shoes, or at least put on shoe covers before he walks inside my home after just having stepped in the planter outside. I take offense to someone who enters my home and decides that its okay to lean against the sides of my cherry wood pool table with his blue jeans that have rivets on them.

Arriving when they said they would, that would be important as well. I don’t want to hear any excuses as to why they weren’t there on time. If they can’t even show up when they said they would, how can I be confident they will do the rest of the work the way they’re supposed to? My time should be as important to them, as it is to me.

Next, I want them to do everything the salesman promised me. Again, excuses here would not be a good thing. I don’t want to be told that they can’t do something that I was told that they were going to do. I had a swimming pool installed several years ago. After their first day on the job, I found they had not done what they were supposed to do. I immediately called the company and told them, “Don’t come back tomorrow.”

I want them to bring along all of the materials and tools they’ll need to do their work. They’ve done this work before, so they should know what is needed to complete the job. I don’t want them to ask me, “Where is the nearest Home Depot?” This question does not generate a lot of confidence on my part.

Are my expectations unrealistic? I don’t think so. I do believe that as a society we have lowered our standards and expectations when it comes to hiring people who do work in our homes. I want, and expect them to act professionally and do the work they were contracted to do. If they are the experts, they should be able to complete the job capably, on schedule, and without destroying my home. That’s what I’m paying them for!

It may take a little effort to find these competent professionals, and you may even have to pay them a little more than the low bid, but you’ll save in aggravation alone.

Jim Berry was a heating and air conditioning service technician prior to becoming a Sales Consultant for Kahn Air Conditioning. Kahn hosts free monthly workshops to help homeowners learn more about heating and cooling systems. For comments, send e-mail to Jim at info@kahnair.com.

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