It’s very easy to get caught short in construction clean ups – Inside Construction

It’s very easy to get caught short in construction clean ups – Inside Construction – Brief Article

Robert Bertuglia, Jr.

Construction cleanups … This work may appear to be elementary and insignificant in the overall scope of a construction project or preparing a property for use.

Unfortunately, construction cleanups often become a source of aggravation, misunderstanding, and dispute.

There are several issues to keep in mind to facilitate a smoother, more effective construction cleanup.

First and foremost, don’t look upon the construction cleanup as an afterthought. Give it a proper level of attention, and start making inquiries with an adequate amount of time in advance of when this service needs to be performed.

In many cases, because of the lack of communication between the parties, the final cost winds up coming in at double or sometimes even triple what has been budgeted.

Recognize that construction cleanups usually cost more than regular cleanups. A major question is whether or not the construction crew and trades on the job, will be removing heavy pieces of debris and bulk materials.

Sometimes, the cleaning/maintenance contractor is expected to remove the initial large volume items (ie–drywall, heavy metal, large amounts of garbage, old furniture, lighting fixtures, studs, flooring, etc.).

Many times, the cleaning contractor will be asked to get rid of some dust and din, and small, tiny debris like paint chips or plaster, prior to laying down a floor or carpet.

A consideration that sometimes, turns into several visits is whether or not the fine dust in the air continues to settle on a premises. Powder-like dust on furniture for example may have to be specialty cleaned or polished.

The first time that the windows get cleaned, this job will require extra care and precision. These windows often have lots of heavy-duty tape for protection, cement stains, paint stains and caulking.

The tape has to be scraped and special chemicals are used for removal and proper cleaning. In many instances, the window frames need attention.

So the cost estimate is developed on conditions like weight, volume, and man-hours required. If the cleaning/maintenance contractor is responsible for renting dumpsters, and transporting the disposal to an appropriate landfill or terminal–this will be figured into the quote.

A property manager should obtain two or three different estimates and seek out information on these cleaning/maintenance contractors like: their experience level, references and a determination that they have a good relationship with the trades at the jobsite.

At the same time, a reputable cleaning/ maintenance contractor will want to be absolutely sure of when said building will be turned over to ownership, and who is clearly responsible for the location.

Every cleaning/maintenance contractor will insist on someone in authority at the property to visit, inspect, and sign-off at the completion of their work. Here again, another potential source of contention will be when building trades people later return to the premises for touch ups, fulfilling a punch list, plumbing, or electrical work and more.

Someone sawing, or ripping up a wall to run wires can easily create the confusion that the site was not properly cleaned!

Hence, extra visits and extra expense.

The improper handling of the construction cleanup can cast a negative pall over what otherwise is the satisfactory completion of a construction project. Property managers should not take this aspect of their overall mission lightly, and should not overlook the finishing touches.

Leaving the construction cleanup open-ended can open the door for a run-up of unnecessary, wasteful expenses.


COPYRIGHT 2003 Hagedorn Publication

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group