Renovating a home is a messy business. In addition to the heavy-duty equipment, tools, and dirty supplies coming in and out of the house, there’s also the junk left behind by the laborers and craftsmen diligently working on completing the project.
A home renovation is only as good as the cleanup after. If your clients come into their new space and see dust and debris instead of shine and polish, they’ll think your work was as sloppy as the cleanup. And if you don’t take care to leave their home cleaner than when it was when you arrived, chances are you’ll have unhappy customers on your hands.
Properly cleaning a home after completing a renovation project is a simple step every contractor can take to ensure their clients are happy with their work. But unfortunately, one of the people’s biggest complaints about hiring contractors for home renovations is how dirty they leave home.
Home renovations are on the rise. More people work from home, which means they spend more time in their homes. And with the increase in interest rates, many home buyers opt to renovate their existing properties instead of purchasing new ones. As a result, 55% of homeowners have completed a home renovation project in the last year.
As a contractor, this isn’t news to you. But with so much work out there, you need to set your renovation business apart. Providing a thorough post-reno cleaning is a way to do that. Ready to get to work? Here are seven tips to help you clean up after your next renovation.
Tip #1: Remove all Tools and Equipment
When you set out to clean your workspace, start from the largest to the smallest items. Remove table saws, saw horses, and other large pieces of equipment first. Then, collect your handheld tools like drills, planers, levelers, and other similar-sized equipment.
For the smaller items, you may want to use a plastic storage bin or other large containers to collect everything in one trip. That way, you won’t have to go in and out of the home whenever your hands are full of tools.
Do a thorough once-over to ensure you’ve gotten everything—the last thing you want to do is leave an expensive piece of equipment behind or allow the vacuum to suck up a big screw.
Tip #2: Clean up Supplies and Packaging
After all the tools are out, you need to go after the scraps and other small items you’ve left behind. This could include pieces of drywall or lumber, random screws, and nails, or even barriers and other containment you set up when the project began.
Also, take the time to remove any packaging or plastic coatings from the hardware and appliances. Homeowners don’t want to see their lighting fixtures’ box or have to peel the plastic off of their new stainless steel refrigerator.
Going the extra mile to remove all this waste for them makes a difference for every client.
Tip #3: Use a Trash Hopper
Use a trash hopper to keep large pieces of extra supplies organized. Trash hoppers are an excellent tool for home renovations because they are portable and can fit a great deal of waste. They’re also self-dumping, so the hopper will do the heavy lifting for you no matter how much waste you collect.
Consider using low profile hoppers for your renovation cleanup. These trash hoppers easily stow long scraps without bridging. And if you’ve been doing a lot of woodworking, low profile hoppers are ideal for miter-saw and table-saw cutting stations.
When you’re done, just wheel or forklift your hopper out to your truck or dumpster and move on to your next cleanup task.
Tip #4: Clean the Air Vents and Filters
It’s no secret that construction kicks up all kinds of dust in a home, so air quality is a massive concern after a renovation. If you don’t clean properly, that dust can linger and negatively affect the home’s air quality.
After completing a renovation project, you can often find silica dust, wood dust, and other lower-toxicity dust in homes. Unfortunately, if not appropriately cleaned, breathing in too much of these substances can result in lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and asthma.
To mitigate the risks of these hazards, use a vacuum to clean the home’s air vents and returns. Also, replace the home’s HVAC system filters with a high-quality filter designed to address construction debris.
Tip #5: Wipe Down Everything
Cleaning the vents and filters is a great way to prevent construction dust from infiltrating the home. But the truth is, much of this dust settles on walls and ceilings. It’s out of sight but still lingers on the largest surfaces in the home.
To address this problem, start by dusting the home’s walls and ceilings with a dry microfiber cloth tied to a broomstick or mop. Then, repeat the process with a wet cloth to capture any excess dust and debris.
Removing every molecule of dust from your home isn’t possible, but with this process, you’ll be able to remove a lot of the dust created by your renovation project.
Tip #6: Check the Yard
How did you access the area you renovated? Did you go through the backyard and into an exterior basement door? Or did you come in through the garage, stepping only on the pavement? Depending on how you accessed the home, you may have damaged the lawn or landscaping.
Take a walk around the property and thoroughly assess if your presence impacted any area outside of the home. If you notice any missing grass or damaged shrubbery, address it. If you aren’t comfortable fixing the landscaping, contact a professional who can do the work for you.
Tip #7: Hire a Professional Cleaning Crew
Despite your best efforts to clean your work area, you should seriously consider hiring a professional cleaning crew. They know precisely how to clean a home after a renovation project and can usually do it far faster than your crew!
Many contractors don’t get professional cleaners to save money. But most cleanings will only cost about $100 to $300, depending on the size of the home. This small investment will return tenfold in referrals and reviews from happy customers, so hiring professional cleaners is always worth it!
You need to do everything you can to make your clients feel like you respect their space and care enough to clean up your messes. Do that, and you’ll build a reputation for being a courteous and considerate contractor who goes the extra mile.