The day I left a tradesman speechless


In January 2012, I decided to book a termite inspection on our home. It had been the first inspection done since my husband and I had purchased our new house (we’d been there for under 3 years). When budgets are tight, termite inspections are usually one of the areas property owners skimp on when it comes to home maintenance. I’m not embarrassed to admit that we weren’t as vigilant with our annual termite inspections as we should have been but I know it’s a common oversight by many home owners.

Termite inspections should be done yearly and the reports kept in a file so that if you do find you have termites in your home and wish to claim it on insurance, you can supply the yearly reports.

We were feeling on top of things financially and due to the wet weather and road works near our home the previous year, I wanted to get the house checked to ensure that our termite barrier was still up to date and working.

I rang a reputable company that was run by a husband and wife team. It was a typical family business scenario with the wife as the book keeper and the husband did the inspections.  It was recommended that a thermal imaging camera be used since the inspections hadn’t been kept up to date annually. I was happy for the extra cost and peace of mind for this service.

On a plumbing note, termite inspections not only check your property for potential termite activity, they can also be an excellent tool to uncover areas in the home that could attract termites without your knowledge. This includes leaking shower trays or damp bathroom floors and walls. Thermal imaging cameras are able to detect moisture in the walls which is the perfect environment to draw termites into your home.  Once the moistures is detected, it’s time to call a plumber who can do tests to work out what is causing the area to be damp.

Anyway, back to my termite inspection. When the inspector arrived he was an in-your-face type of tradie who knew everything there was to know about termites. His name was Ron. Ron knew everything about the building industry in general. He assured me that he had ‘seen it all’. Ron told me how busy he was and how many houses had termites in my suburb. After this reassuring news, he proceeded to tell me about his day and a situation he had to deal with prior to coming to my home.

Ron explained that he had a stand up fight with a plumber on another property about the way the plumber had installed the toilet which had caused termites to come into the property. Ron knew the plumbing laws and continued to explain to me how bad this plumber’s workmanship was.  Ron admitted that plumbers were his worst nightmare, but he couldn’t complain because they gave him work.

I could not wait for this moRON to get out of my home. When Ron talked to me, he’d look at me square in the face which was quite intimidating for me.  I was suddenly on the receiving end of feeling intimidated from a tradesman in my own home. And I was a tradie myself.

After Ron had finished checking inside my house he asked me, ‘So love, what do you do when you’re not home here looking after your kiddy?’

I proudly responded with my head held high ‘I’m a plumber’.

Ron stepped back and I could see he wasn’t quite sure how to react.  My response couldn’t have been more perfectly timed. Needless to say, I didn’t call him back to do our annual termite inspection this year.

Have you ever had a situation where you have felt intimidated in your own home by a tradie? Share your stories with me.