A recent social media post about this matter has sparked debate online from contractors and homeowners alike.
Let’s say you are having your home renovated. Would you allow the workers to use the toilet in your home, or should a “no toilet” rule be enforced until the renovation is done?
This question recently sparked much debate when asked on Recommend.my’s Facebook page, citing another post that had purportedly said:
“If you are renovating your house/bathroom and you are replacing your toilet bowl, you should install the new toilet bowl as the LAST item. The reason? If you install the toilet last, then you will be sure that the worker didn’t use it first.
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“After all, it’s your brand-new toilet bowl, and it’s a personal thing. Nobody else should get to ‘dirty’ it before you. You should tell your interior designer to enforce this rule with the subcontractors.”
What are your thoughts, dear reader? The poor workers are trying to renovate your home for you, spending up to eight hours in a dusty, debris-filled home, but you won’t even let them relieve themselves there? Where else do you expect them to go?
As a responsible homeowner, you might deem such a rule unnecessary. In fact, it might be better for the workers to be able to use your facilities – that way, if the plumbing does not work, they would be the first to know!
Many people in the comments – homeowners and contractors alike – feel it is only fair to allow workers access to the loo during renovations. For instance, one Faizah Ahmad highlighted the importance of having a clean, working toilet when the renovation is finished.
“I don’t mind, as long as the toilet is clean and functioning when they hand over the renovated house to me. Asking them to relieve themselves elsewhere is a waste of time,” she wrote.
Larry L Jordan kept it light, suggesting some family members might be less hygienic than workers, while Paul Goh wasn’t sure what the problem was, noting that people use public toilets all the time.
Soong Peng Fye remarked that homeowners who impose such a rule “have no humanity”, while architect Lo Chang Yong said it was a matter of consent that both sides needed to agree to.
On the flipside, some homeowners support the idea of keeping the toilet off-limits during renovations. Che Kim Noi admitted it made her feel uneasy but would be kind enough to let workers use the guest toilet.
Kok Leong, a contractor himself, said this was a recurring issue and suggested talking to the homeowner about using the guest toilet. If that was not allowed, then he would consider alternatives such as renting a toilet elsewhere.
If this issue was a real dealbreaker, then he would agree to leave the installation of the new toilet until the end of the renovation.
Soeun Koun, a professional cleaner, also had reservations, citing concerns about contractors not maintaining hygiene whenever she was called in for post-renovation cleaning jobs.
“Most of the contractors don’t take care of the toilet after use,” she wrote. “Some even pee on the floor and don’t bother cleaning up after.”
The debate shows that homeowners and workers sometimes have different perspectives. To find a middle ground, here are some ways for homeowners and workers to sort things out before any misunderstanding occurs:
- Ask first: Homeowners and contractors should discuss their concerns and preferences about toilet use before the renovation begins.
- Assign toilets: Designate specific toilets for worker use to keep the main bathrooms clean. Many homeowners designate a guest toilet for workmen.
- Hygiene matters: Make sure contractors understand the importance of cleanliness when using homeowners’ toilets.
- Go portable: This is rare, but some homeowners rent portable loos for workers during major renovations.
- Agree to clean: A responsible renovation contractor can provide post-renovation cleaning in the contract before handing back the property to the homeowner.
This debate over toilet use during home renovations may seem trivial, but it highlights the need for clear communication and respect between homeowners and workers. While some folks emphasise the sanctity of their personal space, it’s equally crucial to consider the practical needs of workers.
By setting clear rules and keeping the conversation flowing, both sides can navigate this issue smoothly, ensuring the final result is a beautifully renovated home without any unnecessary disputes.
This article was written by Alex Tan for Recommend.my – Malaysia’s #1 Home Improvement Services Platform, offering a safer and more convenient way to hire the best home improvement and home maintenance professionals. From flooring to interior design to air-conditioner servicing, get access to thousands of the best local contractors and professionals at your fingertips.