The amount of dust and dirt that accumulates during a remodeling project can be alarming. You cannot stop it completely, but you can prepare. Here are few tips:
- Protect what you can't remove; floors should be covered, dust curtains hung and a pathway defined for workmen to enter/exit the workspace. Use plastic sheeting and tape to seal off doorways into other rooms and cover bookshelves, furniture, and electronic equipment. This is typically included in the contractor's scope of work.
- Turn off the central air or heat when the workers are sanding floors. Keep extra air filters on hand.
- Ask that the construction area be "broom clean" (swept) at the end of every day to minimize the mess.
- If necessary, prepare a storage area in the garage or in another room near the kitchen for holding appliances, cabinets, and other items until it's time to install them. Or rent a storage space for a month or two during the construction phase.
Sometimes it will be necessary to rent a large dumpster so the construction crew can get rid of large amounts of debris. Whether you use a large dumpster, or not, if the construction crew is going to take debris to the outside of your home, you should set up ground rules for where the trash is put, as well as how workers should exit your home.
The inside of your home will be in disarray during a remodel, but the outside of your home doesn't have to have a trampled lawn and random piles of garbage. The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) recommends the following to preserve landscaping and curb appeal:
- Ask that all lumber and materials be stored on paved surfaces, not your lawn.
- If that is not possible, designate a path across your lawn with stakes and string - allow several access points and try to keep the path as direct as possible.
- You may want to lay down temporary plywood sidewalks - they distribute the weight and will prevent ruts in your lawn. Standing the plywood up at the end of each work day will help preserve the grass. Be sure to remove the plywood as soon as the work is done.