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Remodeling: Preparing Your Home to Be a Mess

by Matt Myers

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Remodeling is the best and cheapest way to have the home you want without moving. No secret there, but often people aren't ready to have their kitchen torn up or bathroom out of commission while contractors are doing the remodel. This is a necessary evil, but if you prepare for it domestically as well as mentally, it will make the experience less painful.

Controlling the Mess
If you are the type of person who is always running behind everyone with a Dustbuster and a wet rag, then having a constant mess in your house will bother you more than most. A good idea to keep your sanity is to buy some carpet pieces and lay them on your floors wherever the contractors will be walking. This will keep dust and dirt off your floors while they are walking back and forth to their trucks, and then you can put them away when they leave.

If it's possible, determine a spot where your contractors can make a mess. Ex, if they need to saw a board or sand something, anything that will kick up dust, if you can contain the dust, there will be less to clean. If they can use your garage, this is often the best place for this kind of work.

Also, have a large trash can for your contractors to use.

Determine the Best Time for Work
If you work during the day, this is obviously a good time to have contractors get to work. But most of the time, someone is home or children are coming in at all hours. Decide before work begins if you have a set time for professionals to be working on your home. Maybe you live in a secluded area and the noise, at any hour, won't bother your neighbors so your contractors can work from 6am to 7pm. It also might be the case that you only want them working from 8 to 5 so that you don't have the distraction when you get home. Tell your service professionals your time needs.

Contractor Clean-Up
Many people like to have the mess cleaned up after each day, which makes sense because no one wants to live in a messy home. However, if there are several people who spend 30-45 minutes at the end of every day cleaning up their mess and storing their tools, this will add significant time to the project. Think about having them clean up at the end of every week or some such arrangement. Depending on the length of the project, cleaning every day could add as much as two weeks onto the project and to how long your house is a mess.

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Consider the Contractors
Although this is your house, your remodel and your mess, the contractors are just trying to do a service for you. They are not there to track mud on your carpet or dirty your home, although sometimes these are the side effects of a remodeling project. Think about what is reasonable to ask of your contractors, not to mention what will help them to work more efficiently and quickly. Allow them room to do their jobs, and they will finish just as soon as they can.

Post-Construction Cleaning
Once the project is finished and your new kitchen, bedroom, or basement is ready to be used, you may still find yourself left with more mess than you bargained for. This is where a company that specializes in cleaning after remodeling is a lifesaver! While post-construction cleaning is generally thought of as a task needed mostly in commercial and industrial properties, residential cleaning after a remodel is offered by many professional cleaning services. Even if your contractor and crew was as careful as they could be, the process of a remodel can still leave dust, debris, and many other unwelcome blemishes to your otherwise tidy home. Though day-to-day diligence can lessen the blow, professional post-construction cleaning is often the most effective way to truly eliminate many of the unpleasant left-overs from your renovation project.

Just as any maid service can keep a house clean under normal conditions but might have a difficult time dealing with specific problems caused by a new pet, the stains and blemishes involved in post-construction cleaning are often difficult to eliminate with your average cleaning products and techniques. Though you could certainly tackle the job yourself or ask your regular cleaning service to take care of it, companies that specialize in cleaning after a remodel are generally the more effective choice. While post construction cleaning might seem like an unnecessary expense, many homeowners are surprised at the results these companies produce. They are so good, in fact, that some contractors will actually include the price of hiring a professional to clean after a remodel in the price of the project!

Matt Myers is a freelance writer for the home maintenance and remodeling industry. Formerly a contractor specializing in deck building and casework, Matt has written over 500 articles for both homeowners and contractors.