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DGR,IABD
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I'm curious what you all do with your footwear in the home of a customer... especially those with light colored carpets or high end floor finishes. At times, I am even asked by a customer to remove my shoes. There are several options as I see it:

1) Work in your boots anyhow, without regard to the flooring.
2) Tarp or put down carpet runners down for the path that you'll take through the house. This is a favorite of furnace men.
3) Use shoe covers; the type like surgeon's put over their shoes in the operating room.
4) Have a spare pair new or nearly new "inside shoes" or even house shoes (slippers) for doing work inside.
5) Work in your socks.

This is starting to become a big deal for me, as I've had to have shampooed at least two different locations in the recent past. I'm interested in how the rest of you all handle it, and if you have any written policy on the matter. I'd like to handle this in such a way that producctivity will not be effected.
 

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I have had a several requests for us to take off or shoes in a home. I never, repeat, never, will work in a home without my workboots. Sorry, but its not safe, and against safety procedure/insurance regualtions for us to work in anything but workboots. Those little covers for shoes will make you slip with a quickness on harwood.
We always do your option #2. Drops are layed down as we enter the home.
BTW, way back in the day, when working for another company in a galaxy far, far away, I was asked to remove my boots. I had on the holiest, nastiest socks you can imagine. Never again.
 

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Excellent topic md!

I typically use runners, tarps and some stuff called PolyTak http://www.polytak.com/index.shtml
the last stuff is kind of expensive but then so is replacing a $40K carpet.

In the past I've found that indoor shoes, shoe covers and socks will eventually pick up dirt and are pretty much useless methods. I even had one woman complain about 'sock prints' on her wood flooring.

I've found covering to be the best method.
 

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Drop clothes, where ever we work.

Side note: it is considered bad manners to where your shoes in soneone's home in Hawaii.
 

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DGR,IABD
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Tonkadad said:
Drop clothes, where ever we work.
Tonka, let's not get X-rated here. I'd never drop my clothes in a customer's home! I would, however, consider using drop cloths. :cheesygri I've seen the poly-tak type stuff (basically sticky saran wrap) in most unoccupied homes that realtor's have for sale. I suspect that realtor's must keep a roll of that stuff in the trunks of their cars. I've noticed that most new RV's and boats have this stuff over the walking paths too. This might be something to look into.
 

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When necessary, I use runners, and I don't know if it's the same thing as Teetor is mentioning, - - but I was given a few boxes of 'tack' mats. They're the size of a regular welcome mat, - - you peel off the plastic and evertime you step on it, - - it picks up everything off your shoes. These type are used for laboratories.

P.S. No, - - I checked the one's Teetor's talking about, - - not the same thing at all, - - these are mats that have 'sticky' on both the top and the bottom. They work real good.
 

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If I'm installing a white carpet on a rainy day I loose my shoes after getting it stripped, padded and laid out. Its a pain, especially when I realise that my tape measure or extension chord is out in the truck, but nothing else seems to work for me.
 

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I often wear my shoes in a customer's house but I always ask if I should remove them... and if I see the customer remove their shoes or there is a big pile of shoes at the front door then I too will remove mine.

I should get some of those shoe covers. Last set I bought were huge like moon boots.

I have a problem... My feet stink. It's emberrasing to remove my shoes, especially in the winter when the heat is blasting on my feet while I drive.
 

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DGR,IABD
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Discussion Starter #10
Grumpy said:
I have a problem... My feet stink.
This is the other thing that motivates me to ask for ideas. Taking off your shoes protects the floors, but might not protect the occupant's noses. Stinky feet are more objectionable than stinky breath is, in my opinion.

So far I'm thinking tarps or runners for longer jobs (1/2 day or more) and an alternate pair of clean/new "inside shoes" for a quick in and out job. I have a box of shoe covers on all the trucks, but when it's rainy, the wetness from the soles of the boots does soak through the shoe covers. Plus, as Teetor rightly points out, they can be quite slick on smooth floors. I paged through a catalog right quick and notice that they do have shoe covers that are waterproof and have some grippy texture stuff on the bottoms. That might be the thing to use.
 

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On an estimate I have had one customer request I remove my shoes, I declined the estimate and left. Didn't like the request, knee jerk reaction, maybe, but I feel if they think on a dry day, with me showing up in clean shoes and they are worried about their floors, there is no way for a successful outcome of any job I do when you consider the messes that are made no matter how careful you are.


As far as when working in a house, it's all about protecting the surfaces. Lots of poly tarps and blue tape, sometimes craft paper and cardboard. I vacuum from the work area out the door at the end of every work day. My end of job surveys rating 1to10 in regard to keeping their house as clean as appropriate are always 10s. (the key word is appropriate, not clean as possible, or clean as expected, appropriate will keep you out of trouble) I want to under promise and over deliver, somebody who wants your shoes off leaves me little room to over deliver, so I would pass and let the next guy have that one. I need satisfied customers, referals and references more than the money.
 

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Flat bottomed boots, no ridge between the sole and the heel. I take the belt sander and make that shoe perfectly flat. Wet cloth and a dry cloth and my toughest customer, (my wife) lets me in the house. RT.
 

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ProWallGuy said:
BTW, way back in the day, when working for another company in a galaxy far, far away, I was asked to remove my boots. I had on the holiest, nastiest socks you can imagine. Never again.
Ought to think about changing them once in a while :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:
 

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I use the blue hospital shoe covers from a medical supply store. They are less than 10 cents a pair if I remember right. On wet days I wear slip on duck boots and extra clean socks.

Jesse R. Kirchhoff
Kirchhoff Handyman Solutions LLC
“Making Your Life A Lot Less Complicated”
 

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wow i had a contractor come over to my house couple of years ago to work in living room first thing he asked was would you like for us to take off our shoes.
 

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Rob 53 said:
Flat bottomed boots, no ridge between the sole and the heel. I take the belt sander and make that shoe perfectly flat. Wet cloth and a dry cloth and my toughest customer, (my wife) lets me in the house. RT.

Sometimes there's a rim around the sole that's a bit wider than the shoe itself. You end up with a little triangular slot all around the shoe that could,or in at least one case did, hold some mud. Unless you sand that off too.

I remember wiping the daylights out of my shoes one day on a piece of scrap carpet that sat directly on the hardwood entrance of a cusomer's home. That was sufficient until I got to the part of the house with carpet that was installed over a fairly thick pad. My shoes sunk in a bit and that mud around the edge ended up all over the floor.

That's when I gave up wearing shoes indoors on rainy days.
 

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I should mention I once had a customer request I sit down and she removed my shoes for me. I am convinced it is because she wanted to look up my dress. :) I'll never forget that, it was weird. She was one of those book reader types who is middle aged and has a PHD or something. Bah humbug culture!
 

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Grumpy said:
I should mention I once had a customer request I sit down and she removed my shoes for me. I am convinced it is because she wanted to look up my dress. :) I'll never forget that, it was weird. She was one of those book reader types who is middle aged and has a PHD or something. Bah humbug culture!
That's part of the reason I stopped wearing dresses on estimates.
 

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DGR,IABD
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Discussion Starter #20
Grumpy said:
I should mention I once had a customer request I sit down and she removed my shoes for me.

What!!!!! That would take me WAY out of my confort zone. Did she massage your feet for you after she took off your shoes? :) I guess there's weird people wherever you live.
 
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