Trades coming in? Clean first!

Here’s a tip I’ve learned after doing four or five client renos a year: if you have painters coming in, or if you are getting cabinets sprayed, or tubs reglazed, or for that matter, almost anything involving the trades– clean first!

I know it’s counter-intuitive. I say that to clients and they say, “why would I clean up now? It’s just going to get dusty?”

But there is a big difference between dust and ground in dirt. Pet fur can stick to paint and make it hard for the painters to get the right finish. Re-glazing is almost impossible with dirt and dander in the air; same with spraying. And if walls or cupboards haven’t been cleaned, paint won’t stick. Your painter will take more time to do the same job if you don’t clean first. And do you really want to paint over dirt? I don’t.

I recently had trades in to get a house ready for sale where the house hadn’t been cleaned first. It took the tradesman three times to redo the tub because every time he thought he was done, fur wafted in the open door and stuck to the finish. He had to sand it down each time and respray again. Who do you think pays for that? You do.

Vacuum. Clear the grease off the cupboards. Clean your counters. Wash out the tub, sink and toilet. Seriously. No one likes to work in a grubby house, not even people who get their hands dirty for a living. The cleaner your house is, the easier it is for the trades to keep their workspace clean.

Yes, you will have to clean house a second time, but it will be a light clean. Drywall dust is manageable. Painters have tarps to protect most surfaces, and you can buy a roll of plastic at Home Depot for around $ 12.00. Trust me, you will pay more in labour — and for house-cleaning later on — if you don’t clean your house first, before the work is done. 

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