Top Tips for dealing with builders’ mess.
If you are staying put during a home extension, there are lots of things you can do to minimise the disruption and dust from building work.
As expected, knocking down walls, pulling up floorboards and putting in new windows, will all bring dust, rubble and dirt. The key to surviving builders’ mess is to clean up every day. Whether it is you or the builders cleaning up every day, it will start to feel like you are forever painting the Forth Bridge. As soon as the job is finished, you will have to start all over again. But it will be worth it in the long run and help avoid ingrained dust taking hold.
Here are our top tips for dealing with builders’ mess
- Get a Good Hoover. Plastering dust will damage domestic hoovers, so make sure you use or hire an industrial hover for the duration of the build. A cylinder or canister vacuum cleaner are good because they will have a large dust capacity and by using bags, will make disposing of the dust and debris easier. Remember to hoover everything! From lampshades to curtains.
- Get a Good Mop. After hoovering, wet-mop floors to pick up any remaining residue.
- Protect your carpets. Putting sheets down won’t be enough. Preparation is key to ensure stairs and flooring are protected throughout the duration of the build. There is a variety of carpet protector films that will keep newly laid carpets free from damage, dirt and spillages during a build.
- Check your home insurance. If there is an accident, is your builder covered for accidental damage or will it be your responsibility?
- Get a Portaloo. If you only have one toilet or if it is upstairs, a constant trail of builders and contractors walking through your house, into the non-build areas, can be a real intrusion. Speak to your main builder. They may ask you to pay for it but in the long run, a portable toilet will avoid any embarrassing confrontations about ‘who left the toilet seat up.’
- Have Rules. Sometimes you just have to spell it out about what is acceptable and what is not. Rubble in the flower beds, not clearing away tools every night or piling up tools boxes in the hallway can be some of the biggest bug bears. Identifying your concerns upfront will make the whole experience much easier.
- Buy an air purifier. While daily hoovering will capture most of the dust, an air purifier is a great idea for capturing the remaining tiny particles.
- Keep Doors Shut. Minimise how far the dust can travel. Close doors behind you as you move around the house. Consider getting zipped doorway dust protectors for the dirtiest rooms.
- Wash the Dust Sheets. It is all well and good when the builders lay out the dustsheets on day one of a build, but what happens when you are on day 22 and the same dustsheets are still being rolled out? Keep an eye on their condition and take them outside for a shake off every few days. Give them a wash if you can.
- Build a Garden Room to Live In. Have somewhere you can retreat to from the chaos of the building site. This might mean sectioning off one area of the house from the rest of the project or building a garden room where you can live free of dust and debris for the duration of the build. If you already have out buildings, explore the possibility of converting one of these into a temporary living space