Q: Do you set aside a specific line item in a project budget for jobsite cleanliness or do you include it as part of your overall budget? What types of costs are included in these line items?

A: I most certainly included a line item for job site cleanliness. The costs of this are typically a man-hour cost and maybe a little bit for supplies. I ask my estimator to include at least 30-minutes per day per jobsite worker. This includes any clean up during the day and at the end of the day. We ask that they leave the job neat and orderly by removing debris, keeping tools and materials organized, and vacuuming.
We also tell our homeowners that the clean-up does not include any cleaning products, wiping down of walls and belongings, dusting, or cleaning windows. Including this line item in our proposals gives us the opportunity to discuss the distinction between remodeling-related activities and those of the occupants of the house.
On an added note about cleaning up sites, I’d like to tell remodelers about RRP. It is a new EPA regulation related to lead paint that requires remodeling contractors clean up their pre-1978 projects that have a child under 6-years of age or a pregnant woman living in the building. The RRP rule starts April 22, 2010. Remodelers will absolutely need to include any items specific for jobs that fall under the regulation. These line items will include: work area prep, dust containment set up, dust containment tear down, work area cleaning and finally, cleaning verification/recordkeeping. All of these are specifically listed as required work practices in the new rule. I’m participating in the NAHB audio seminar on this topic on October 28. For more information, visit the audio seminar page on the NAHB Web site. For more information on the EPA rule, visit that section on the EPA Web site.

-- Brindley Byrd, CGR, CAPS, is a national speaker, author and advocate who has served the construction industry for over 12-years. He established the Responsible Remodeling™ core operating system for dust-safe work practices to protect the health of workers and customers. He has guided hundreds of professional remodelers through the regulations and work practices of managing remodeling air quality. Contact Brindley at bbyrd@qx2.net or visit www.qx2.net for more information.