Home » Home Security Tips » Should I Leave Contractors Alone in My House?

Should I Leave Contractors Alone in My House?

From fixing the plumbing to renovating the kitchen, everyone experiences contractors in their home at some point.

Hiring a reliable contractor is the best way to prevent damage or stolen goods, but it’s also important to ensure the property is protected beforehand. 

Read on to find out if it’s safe to leave contractors and tradesmen alone in your house and what precautions you need to take before having contractors in the home.

Should I Leave Contractors Alone in My House?

To protect a property and the possessions inside it, do not leave contractors alone in your house unless you know them well.

Provided the work is short-term (like a plumber fixing a boiler), taking time off work, working from home, or asking a friend to housesit are the safest options.

Some contractors (known as ‘cowboy builders’) intentionally break things in your home so they can charge more for the repairs. 

They will be less likely to do this if the homeowner is present and keeping an eye on their work.

How to Protect a House From Thefts During Renovation Work

To prevent renovation burglaries, always:

  • Tell contractors to keep doors shut when not in use
  • Install temporary indoor security cameras
  • Hide valuables
  • Check home insurance covers renovation thefts
  • Display deterrent signage (like 24-Hour CCTV in Operation)
  • Stay home or ask neighbors/friends to watch the property

Having indoor cameras set up to monitor the tradesmen is the safest option when you can’t stay at home.

Should I Give Builders a Key?

It’s common for builders to be given a key to a property when completing long-term renovation work.

The key is returned once the builder has finished the work, but if security camera footage revealed suspicious behavior over a long period, you might consider changing the locks. 

Though it is to be anticipated in many instances, giving builders a key to a property is risky. It’s important to ensure the builder is legitimate and trustworthy before giving them keys to the home.

a woman holding keys standing in front of a door

To ensure a contractor is legit and reputable, always:

  • Check reviews or ask for references
  • Check online presence to ensure it’s a legit company
  • Get 3-4 quotes to ensure the estimate is not inaccurate or unusually low
  • Agree to the price in writing and in advance of work starting
  • Pay once work has been completed (not upfront)
  • Check for a registered address

What to Do When You Have Builders in Your House

Unless you’ve experienced building work before, many people don’t know how to prepare for builders in the house.

Get to grips with the unspoken etiquette below—here’s what to do when you have builders in your house:

  1. Keep the workspace clear of breakable items.
  2. Ask them to close doors or windows before they leave.
  3. Let them park on the drive or outside the property (to carry equipment).
  4. Ask them to lay dust sheets on carpets/floors or supply your own.
  5. Offer drinks throughout the day.
  6. Offer them use of the toilet.
  7. Let them listen to music.
  8. Check in with them infrequently, either in real life or via AlfredCamera’s two-way audio feature.


Most builders are reputable and rely on completing honest work to make a living, so there’s no need to be overly suspicious with the right preparation in place—like indoor cameras.

Thoroughly assess the legitimacy of a builder before hiring them to work on a property. Scammers will take any opportunity to steal possessions, make copies of keys, or damage the property without the owners knowing.