These extra duties asked of tradespeople will truly shock you!

You'll be amazed at some of the things homeowners ask of their builders and plumbers

They may have come to repair a leaking tap or broken boiler, but it seems that's not all that's being asked of handy men (or ladies) when they visit our homes. According to a new survey, some UK owners have ulterior motives.

When asked 'Has a homeowner ever asked you to perform duties outside of your job description while you were in their property?', 65 per cent of the 'trades' surveyed said yes!

So what exactly are the British public getting them to do?

Do it yourself: Aldi has got DIY nailed with its latest Specialbuys range

hallway with grey doors and wooden flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole)

Well, according, who conducted the research, a shocking 1 in 10 tradespeople have been asked to babysit the customer's children. We didn't know that was a service!

Also, while most of us would probably think it was polite to offer a cup of tea to a hardworking tradesperson, 36 per cent of homeowners have actually asked their hired help to make them a hot drink! Is it just us that thinks that's a bit cheeky?

But some requests are bordering on shameless. We're talking the 2 per cent of those surveyed who had been asked to ‘run a bath’ for the homeowner! Now that is going above and beyond.

bathroom with white bathtub white tiles and wooden flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole)

Top 10 list of extra duties asked of tradespeople

  1. Answer the door – 61 per cent
  2. Make a round of hot drinks – 36 per cent
  3. Answer the phone/make a phonecall – 27 per cent
  4. Do the washing up – 26 per cent
  5. Take the bins out – 22 per cent
  6. Sweep/vacuum the floor – 18 per cent
  7. Move furniture – 14 per cent
  8. Babysit the kids – 10 per cent
  9. Buy groceries – 9 per cent
  10. Take things to the attic – 8 per cent

Okay, so some of those – 'move furniture' or 'take things to the attic', for instance – come with the territory. But 'buy groceries'? Come on people!

As for whether tradespeople are happy to take on those extra tasks, four in five (81 per cent) did help out, although just 15% received a tip or payment for their extra services.

More fascinating facts! How house proud are you? A new survey tells all...

'It’s good for tradespeople to build a relationship with their clients so that they feel comfortable having them in their home,' says Lisa Evans from 'But taking the bins out, popping to the shops and keeping an eye on the kids is a stretch too far! Tradespeople are not hired help; they are there to do their job and nothing more. Putting expectations on someone can make for an uncomfortable experience all round, so keep the housework and the parenting to yourself!'

Can you admit to ever asking your tradespeople to go beyond the call of duty? And what did you ask them to do?


Amy Cutmore

Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.