Tip jars are everywhere: at the barber shop, coffee shop, even McDonalds! It can be hard to know where to tip and how much. It is especially difficult to decide for those working on your biggest asset, your house. So when and where do you tip, who do you tip, and how much? Do you tip painters? How about delivery drivers, do they get gratuity and how much?
Tipping Workers: When do you tip?
Traditionally, a tip is a gratuity for exceptional service. In most countries, workers earn a standard wage and a tip is generally only given on rare occasion. Here in the United States, tipping is almost customary or required for restaurant workers or catering staff. This practice has extended out to almost any service provider. The standard of tipping varies among different job types. We tend to tip only when the service is exceptional: the service workers note an area of concern in our plumbing we hadn’t noticed, a repair person uses extra high quality product to repair a wall and goes the extra mile to clean and mop, etc. These extra touches are definitely deserving of a tip or monetary thank you.
What is the tradition for varies services and what should you look for when tipping? Or if you are a service provider, what are some ways you can go above and beyond to show you deserve a little extra. Read on for more insights.
Repair Service: Do you tip plumbers? Do you tip HVAC services?
These workers earn a standard hourly wage and often benefits from their employer. A tip is generally not expected, especially if the business is owner/operator, meaning the owner is the same person who comes to your house. What can you do for exceptional service? Offer water or a snack, make sure their working environment is pleasant if you can: meaning the air conditioning or heat is on or a fan is offered, the place is clean and clear of obstacles as possible or other ways of ensuring they can do their work quickly and accurately.
In addition, make sure to say thank you and commend them on their work if you love what they do! Not everyone thinks of this, but sometimes the best tip is gratitude and referrals. A small business can live or die by references for additional business or allowing them to put a sign in your yard.
One scenario where you may want to tip is if they do an extra for you while on the job and do not want payment. This could happen if your plumber is fixing your toilet and also tightens the sink faucet or adds waterproofing to prevent or fix a leak. That is the whole purpose behind a tip is for work “above and beyond” what is expected, and what better way to show your appreciation.
Painters: Do you tip painters?
Painting jobs can be a little different for tipping purposes than a standard repair or service person. Painting is an art, and often requires a lot of preparation work and detail oriented tasks to be done well. Our articles on DIY painting tips can help understand what all goes into a quality painting job so you can decide to DIY or hire someone to help paint.
So what is the standard for painters? For a really well done job a tip is appreciated by most painters, since it is more like an art. A small tip of $10-$20 is often sufficient, unless they did your whole 3-story atrium home, then you may opt to do $50 or more. The tip really depends on the amount of work done and the level of detail. The more detail, preparation work, and time spent with you may indicate more of a tip is warranted. Another thing to consider is if trips to the store were required and if they are leaving or using your tools and materials. If you are receiving high quality tools and left over items, and if the painters did the shopping and spent several trips to the store, or did extra work mid-job to accommodate a change, a thank you in the form of money is more than appreciated.
Delivery: Do you tip furniture delivery? Appliance delivery?
Heavy item delivery jobs are often deserving of a tip. These delivery drivers are often hauling and lifting 100+ pounds right to your door, or threshold delivery as it is called. If they are doing a white glove service and delivering a mattress or large piece of furniture in your home and placing it in the room, then a tip should be awarded if the job is done well.
Services like Bungii or Dolly work like Uber for trucks. These individuals use their own truck and pick up your appliance or furniture piece and deliver it to your door. These services work in an app, or can be done through the store like Best Buy. These apps and services do leave a place for a driver tip, so consider this tip to support a small business owner or gig worker.
Contractor: Tipping contractors
Your contractor is being paid for the job and really oversees the project like a project manager. A tip is generally not expected or best practice for tipping contractors. Since they are paid a flat, or pre-agreed, fee for the job a tip is not necessary. A huge thank you can be said with food or water as well as a positive review and referrals for more business.
Tipping Best Practices
In general, tipping can be a wonderful way to show your appreciation. Many of us struggle with tipping because it can sometimes feel as if its required or an obligation to tip. A tip jar out at a coffee shop or even your hair salon can feel more of an obligation than a feel good act.
By knowing when and how to tip, you can feel confident you are doing the right thing and supporting small businesses, small business owners, hard workers and your community. Tipping does not have to be just money: it can be a reference for additional business, a glowing review on Yelp, Facebook, Google or other social platforms, and shown with gifts of food or support during the work.
Whatever your way of tipping, make sure you are doing so because you want to, not because you have to. No one likes a forced gift and sometimes a kind word or thank you is enough. Do you tip painters? Let us know and check out our other home improvement tips and tricks.