No new build or renovation project is over until every contractor has finished his or her piece and the entire area has been cleaned and inspected. Properly cleaning up a construction site is about more than simple housecleaning or even deep cleaning and debris removal. It includes everything from ridding the walls of scuff marks and smudges to waxing floors and scrubbing windows. Perhaps more importantly, through the post-construction cleaning process, it is possible to thoroughly inspect every nook and cranny of the project. This helps homeowners ensure that everything is in place, secure, and safe before marking common jobs such as remodels or additions "complete" and beginning to use their new space.
While some general contractors do their own construction site cleanup, contracting out to a company that specializes in this niche service is the best way to get the deep clean you need to really show off the addition you built onto your house or the new garage in the backyard to buyers or guests. It also helps you save yourself the hassle of re-cleaning a rushed job. While the cost of construction site cleanup varies greatly according to the size of the space and the nature of the building or renovation, homeowners report that the average costs range between $279-$657 for a residential construction cleanup job.
There are many factors that contribute to the final cost of any post-construction cleanup job, including the size of the home or project, the supplies needed, the location of the job, the overall condition and accessibility of the property, and the level of cleaning that homeowners desire. Here are a few additional specific cost factors to keep in mind:
The cost per square foot for cleaning a large commercial property will likely be well under the cost per square foot for residential cleanup. While commercial cleanup generally costs between $0.10-$0.30 per square foot, residential cleanup jobs range from $0.10-$0.50 per square foot.
The final phase of cleanup is the most thorough and therefore the most expensive. Expect to pay the high-end rate of about $0.50 per square foot for this phase of cleaning.
The local competition matters. If you live in an area where there are several construction cleanup contractors available, you are likely to pay closer to the low end of the scale than if there are only a few companies in your area.
Premium charges may apply for specialty projects. Windows are generally charged separately from normal square footage at a rate that increases if they are located above the second floor. Two other premium-charge jobs are waxing and buffing wood floors, which costs about $308 on average depending on the square footage, and thorough HVAC duct cleaning, which may cost between $242 and $434 on average.
In the case of a ground-up new build, the construction cleanup process takes place in three stages. Depending on the extent of your project, you may only need some of these services performed.
Rough Interior Cleanup
Cleaning the spaces of a construction site prior to adding the final element, such as floors, is important because it ensures that the final install is clean and secure. This type of construction site cleaning job generally includes all of the following:
Sweeping and prepping floor underlayment for carpet, tile, etc.
Washing all interior windows
Final Interior Cleanup
Once the final elements are installed, a more thorough and detailed interior cleaning must take place. The details of this type of cleanup vary significantly from room to room. Kitchens and bathrooms, for example, include cabinetry, appliances, fixtures, and countertops that all need specialized care. However, a good final interior cleanup always includes a few key jobs:
Cleaning walls, including removing dust, dirt, scuff marks, and smudges
Dusting ceilings and light fixtures/fans
Cleaning all trim, including all baseboards and door and window frames
Cleaning the faces, sides, and tops of doors
Cleaning floors, including buffing/waxing if applicable or vacuuming carpet
Cleaning ducts, vents, and baseboard heating exchanges
Cleaning windows, including tracks and frames
Removing all trash, plastic coverings, and stickers
For large renovations, additions, and new builds, messes happen both inside and outside the home. A final, thorough exterior cleanup job rids the property of excess trash, prepares it for finishings such as landscaping and paving jobs, and generally increases the curb appeal of a home. This project stage includes:
Removing all trash from the property, including lumber and debris
Washing exterior windows and doors
Sweeping and dusting any entry doorways
Sweeping and/or power washing the driveway and any other paved surfaces
When hiring a company specifically for a residential cleanup job, it is important to consider some additional factors unique to this situation. One important consideration is the amount of debris that needs to be removed. This is an especially important factor in DIY projects because removing a lot of construction waste can increase charges dramatically since it needs to be hauled out.
Timelines are also important. Small cleanup jobs on a one- or two-room addition can be done in less than a day, whereas whole-home projects may take two or three full days to complete. Make sure to time your cleanup to take place immediately after construction ends in order to give yourself the opportunity to discuss any issues that may be uncovered during cleaning with the contractor. This also ensures that you get to move into your new home or start using your fresh addition as soon as possible.
While post-construction cleanup is generally a niche service, it is even more specialized in that most companies only work on new constructions or additions rather than renovations and general home improvement projects. Homeowners looking for cleanup after minor renovations may need to contact several companies in order to find one willing to work on smaller projects. They should also expect to pay more money per square foot in comparison to full-home and commercial cleanup rates.
There is another important niche within the construction cleanup business as well that is worth noting: disaster cleanup. Properly cleaning and disposing of debris after a fire, flood, or other natural disaster is another specialized service that many post-construction companies offer.