The old proverb “cleanliness is godliness” literally parallels the importance of being clean to the ultimate human symbol of power, god. Now I’m not a religious person, but does being clean really impact our lives to this extent? Humbly I would have to agree and say yes. Cleanliness is purity, cleanliness is organization, and ultimately cleanliness is a respect for the natural world. Therefore the importance of cleanliness is profound and in my world as a General Contractor it is very evident on each and every project we work on.
Over the years I have come across job sites that were fit for Oscar the grouch. Now if you are not familiar with Oscar the Grouch he is a character from a popular children’s TV show that lives in a garbage can. I’ve see it all, including dumpster bins being left on properties for months on end, waste strewn across a client’s property, materials not neatly stored, tools all over the place, cigarette butts littered on the ground, half empty coffee cups decorating the site, foot prints, dust clouds, and the list goes on. Why does this happen and what does it translate to? Well for starters it shows a complete lack of respect for the client. Respect for the client should be paramount as in all reality they are the boss and are either directly or indirectly paying your bills. It also shows that you have a lack of respect for the premises, which ironically you are there to beautify. Cleanliness is a responsibility of the Contractor and the absence of it is a tell tale sign that your contractor may not be the professional you set out to hire. This is not always the case, but more times than not attention to cleanliness means organization and attention to detail. Attention to detail and quality of work are closely related so this is an important fact when it comes to overall outcome of the project. So what are some things that professional contractors do to keep it clean. Here are a few simple things to follow:
- Before any trades person sets foot in a home/job site craft paper should be put down on the path most travelled. This will protect the floors underneath and ensure that the overall area needing to be cleaned at the end of the project is mitigated.
- Drywall dust can be the client’s worst nightmare as it can spread through a home in no time. Simply using a plastic sheet to cover the closest opening to the work area can prevent the spread of this pesky dust. Having a second containment area will further ensure that no dust escapes when trades people are walking in and out. Finally sealing vents using plastic and tape is extremely important in preventing the spread of dust. Dust flowing through a homes ductwork can cause a real mess.
- If a disposal bin is placed on a driveway/property it is important that it is placed on protective wood stilts or even on sheets of plywood. This will help protect the condition of the driveway, lawn, or hardscape. The area around the bin should be kept free of debris and should be hosed down if necessary. The bin should not remain on site longer than the project itself.
- It is important that at the end of every workday that a quick site clean up is preformed to not let things get out of hand. Coffee cups and lunch waste should thrown out, cigarette butts need to be picked up and tossed out, off cuts should disposed of, spills or drips are cleaned up or hosed down, floor are swept, and materials and tools are organized and ready for the next day.
- In some cases a professional cleaning crew should be utilized to clean up messes left after a renovation if for some reason containment is not possible. Your contractor may also like to go the extra distance and have the newly completed renovation area professional cleaned before delivery. This is what I would describe as going above and beyond what is generally acceptable.
In the renovation business Cleanliness is godliness and if your Contractor feels the same way then it is quite certain that you are dealing with a consummate professional, if they do not feel the same I would suggest finding someone else to do your next project.