Sunday, February 23, 2014

Keep it Clean - By Kaile Warren

Of all the things to consider when hiring a contractor, one of the least often considered or talked about issue is how well the project will be cleaned on a daily basis. Additionally, how well existing fixtures, furniture, etc. will be taken care of, is seldom locked down prior to construction. The lack of a cleaning expectation, as well as a protection plan, is often times the basis for a breakdown in the relationship between contractor and owner.

When you look at a breakdown of your contractors pricing, you will often times see debris removal as a line-item in the bid. It is seldom that you will see daily clean up, or property protection as a line-item. As an owner, you need to make sure you hold your contractor accountable for protection of existing furniture, fixtures, etc., as well as a complete daily clean up. 

One would think professional contractors would automatically keep their job site clean, safe and picked up. However, this assumption is frequently a mistake. When negotiating your contract, do not be bashful about getting your expectations into your written agreement. It is better to set the expectations upfront, rather to be disappointed or in a conflict on the back end of a project.

A dirty, messy worksite can lead to collateral damage, safety issues and in general, poor quality work. Scratching furniture by setting debris against it, contaminating paint by setting paint cans in or near piles of dirt and or dust on the floor, and stepping on nails left in walkways, are just some of the issues an unkempt worksite will create. 

As a property owner, take the lead when it comes to keeping your worksite clean. Require your contractor to do daily cleanings, and to also have a professional cleaning done at points throughout the work or at its completion. 

Too many times homeowners just suck it up (yes, pun intended) when it comes to a dusty, dirty worksite. Make your expectations known upfront, not after the fact. It’s your property and health. Protect it.

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