One of the biggest questions we get prior to a job starting isn’t about selections or what the house will look like at completion. It’s about the mess the contractor will make during construction and how will the house and its contents be kept clean and protected during construction.
No matter what you plan on doing, small or large, it will be messy, dusty, and at times, plain old annoying! Don’t fret. A good contractor will make every effort to protect your property and keep on top of the mess. Prior to the start-up, you and the contractor will have some work to do. Some of the best prep is mental preparation! Accepting that things will be worse before they are better. There will be times where the end seems far away. You may wonder why you started the project in the first place.
Keep focused on the end result! A forever home requires some patience and perseverance. For large, whole house renovations, we suggest moving out. If the entire house is being gutted, you won’t have a choice. Since moving is one of life’s biggest stressors, be prepared for a dose of stress during this time. Some homeowners rent a storage unit on or off site or move the contents of the home to a protected area of the house. If you can stay out until the house is substantially complete, great. If not, talk to your contractor to figure out the best time to move back in.
If the project involves renovating part of the house, and you will be living there, prepare yourself for a dose of daily dust and mess. Most contractors will broom sweep every day, but it’s best to let go of trying to maintain a clean home during the construction period.
The mess won’t just be inside. As the work is being completed, there will be materials coming in and out, tools scattered about, and scraps from sawing, trimming, and building. Tire tracks, mud, and dirt from work vehicles will adorn your exterior. If it’s rainy or snowy, the mess is even bigger. If part of the project involves the exterior, we suggest removing special plants. Every effort will be made to protect and preserve the existing shrubs and flower beds during construction, however, most contractors will not be responsible for replacing or re-planting any type of flower, bush or shrub that may be destroyed during the course of construction.
Keep in mind that items such as fences, buried gas or electrical conduit, cesspools septic systems, sewage lines, driveways, sidewalks, remaining patios or any other improvements may be affected by the construction and could wind up costing you money to repair.
Some projects will be protected by a temporary perimeter fence. Some will only have interior protection. That will depend on the scope of work and building codes.
No matter what, you will need to remove everything in the construction areas. If the entire contents aren’t being removed, it’s also best to remove small furniture, electronics, and decorative items on the walls so they do not get broken or dusty.
Cover furniture that will remain with thick tarps or sheets. We suggest using tape to attach the tarps or sheets to the bottom of the furniture, so they are fully covered and protected from dust The contractor will protect the floors they will walk on and if possible, close off the interior construction area with a plastic wall. They use a zippered entrance to get in and out of the construction area. If possible, use one entrance during construction. Keep all interior doors shut. If the project involves sheetrocking, remember dust travels and will get into the smallest of spaces. You may wonder how it got into a cabinet on a different floor! Rest assured, a good contractor knows a good cleaning company!