Renovating a home can be a stressful process, especially when dealing with the chaos of noise and debris and the panic of keeping your precious belongings from harm. Preparation is key when keeping your space clean during a renovation.
The first thing to do is remove absolutely everything (including rugs, curtains, furniture and small goods) and place them in an isolated area or off-site in a storage facility. Consider it like a contamination spill you’re trying to desperately control.
Controlling dust and debris
Dust and dirt is going to become your worst enemy throughout your renovation – limit the spread with these tips:
- In the case of renovating a smaller space such as the kitchen or living area, it’s best that you remove everything to another area. If you’re living in the space whilst renovating then it’s essential to quarantine the renovation and workspace. By using thick plastic and construction tape you can effectively contain the area to limit the amount of debris that is spread. You’re still able to have access to the area, but remember, the more you go into it, the more likely you are to spread dust and dirt.
- Dust usually comes out of ceilings and walls and due to it being extremely fine, it becomes quite difficult to contain. Make sure that you have adequate ventilation.
- Often people think it’s fine to have the windows open with the flyscreens still attached. This is a big no. Flyscreens can get dirty easily, as dust and debris are blown through by breezes – they act as a filter and become difficult to clean. Alternatively, it’s better to remove the flyscreens and ventilate the area without using the screen as dust-catchers.
If the renovated space holds any heavy, bulky items, you should cover them with thick plastic and construction tape, if possible, and make sure there are no crevasses or cracks for dust to filter through.
Many people think cupboard doors will stop dust going through, but sadly not! When getting tiling done or your floor sanded, it’s important to make sure that the items in your cupboards are sealed up.
Create a boardwalk
Once items are removed and the renovated space is isolated, create a pathway for people, especially tradesman, who wear protective footwear, to use when walking through the area. You can use gaffer tape and cardboard, ply or even drop sheets to create a walkway, to ensure no damage is done the existing floors or carpet.
Daily clean up
In order to manage and reduce the build-up of mess, it’s best to keep on top of it on a daily basis. Vacuuming is great, but not with a standard vacuum cleaner as construction debris and dust can often be too overwhelming to collect. Unless you have an old vacuum that you don’t mind damaging, consider hiring a construction vacuum for the project duration.
Be nice to your tradies
Contrary to popular belief, most tradesmen want to do a good job and clean up after themselves, so make it easy for them. Give them a quick introduction of where you want all the debris to go, give them a skip and show them where the waste goes. For example, if a tiler comes to work for you, give them an appropriate space to work, ensure they have power and ideally have them cut materials outside – in the shade ideally and out of the rain.
By setting a tradesman up for success – by providing them with power, an ideal spot to cut and clearly indicating where you want them to store their materials and waste – you will set yourself up for a smooth and successful home renovation.
Naomi Findlay is one of our resident experts, principal of Silk Home and founder of the International Institute of Home Staging. Want to be a home stager? Attend the 2016 Home Staging Symposium in Sydney this June!