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Don EMS

Post construction cleanup

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Just wondering how many of you do some sort of post construction cleanup.

From construction debris removal ( roll offs, trash bins, using skid steers and dump trucks ) exterior cleaning ( power washing, garage floors, driveways, walks, siding, windows) picking up left over trash around the property, interior cleaning, street sweeping. We are finding this to be very profitable do to the fact that the GCs in our area are finding it hard to get good dependable help.

I hear the same story about how thay can never get this type of work done on time and the quality of work being performed is below standards. I think most company think of this as unskilled laber so thay hire from the bottom of the list and bounce from GC to GC. We do all of the above except the sweeping which we contract out to a buddy and have no problem finding work. If your not doing this type of service it might be something to look into.

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Don,

I was thinking of doing new construction cleanup-the rough not the final cleanup.

Is there a market for this such as cleaning up the jobsite of trash, lumber and leftover material?

Also I would do the drive, sidewalk and exterior of the house.

Does this seem like a possibility with home builders?

Thanks,

Mick

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There is a lot of money out there for this type of work. Reliability and quality are the key words here. The supers deal with so many flakes in so many different trades their stress level of coordinating it all is tremendous!

There are 2 types of supers, organized and seat of the pants. The real organized ones are a pleasure to deal with, they have boards up in their trailers listing each home in production and every task to be completed and the date for it. The seat of the pants guys can be a nightmare if you don't 'manage them'. They call on the day of the closing and need the job done that day etc. Not only does this kill your scheduling it creates problems for them as well, soil covering cracks in concrete that aren't seen until you're done adds another item to the punch list. These guys also seem to have other problems that affect you, no water, tons of material in the garage, concrete being replaced where your water will run into etc.

Here's what I do with these guys. Call or stop by once a week or two and check in, find out what's 'walking' and when. Call before you get there to confirm, ask if the water is on and if the garage is OK, this isn't for everyone just the guys who burn you 2 or more times. Makes your life and theirs much easier.

By far the biggest money maker in new home construction is erosion control. Install of erosion blankets, storm drain inlet maint etc. My biggest builder, and the biggest in the state, is nuts about it, to the point that they have not only the streets done but all the sidewalks and curbs are swept and shoveled! The grading guys do it, one of my supers told me they get $500 per inlet to clean around and maintain the rock bags! Last I heard the guy who owns the company just bought his 3rd plane!

Bottom line, money is out there,

Always be on time.

Never let anyone be waiting on you.

Manage the difficult people.

If it rains, snows or is 10 degrees out, make the courtesy call, yes they know you won't be there anyway but call.

Have jobs on Mon. do them over the weekend, (no other trades around to get in the way) spend Mon. on sales calls.

In construction always show up when scheduled, be consistent and you already exceed their expectations.

Yes it's obvious but so many don't do it.

Sorry for the rant,

JD

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JD nailed it. Bottom line is to, #1- Do what you say your going to do, #2- When you say your going to do it, #3 How you said your going to do it. Be sure to get in writeing all the details of what services your going to provide and what your not.

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When you do your construction cleanup what services do you provide?

I have questions regarding the specific do's and don'ts of rough construction cleanup.

1) in the rough cleanup when a dumpster is provided what do you tell the contractor what you will cleanup, remove and place in the dumpster?

2)do you clean up after framing, rough plumbing, hvac install or drywall or do you cleanup after each phase?

3)if you you do multiple rough cleanups do you charge per each cleanup or a set price for everything?

4)how do you base your pricing on rough cleanup? Per cleanup, square footage or single house.

5)what is the going rates for rough cleanup?

I have a good idea about the powerwashing aspect of construction cleanup and the pricing but the rough cleanup is throwing me for a loop. I have a builder who is looking for a quote on Monday and he wont give me a clue to what the former guy was charging or what he did for the cleanup......weird I know.......but he is looking for someone who will perform and do what they promise at a fair price.

These homes are bi-level about 2900 sf with brick face and half of the sides while the rest is vinyl. They sit on a lot of 75 x 150.

Any help and some things to consider if I bid this out would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Mick

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You should realize that there is no special skill involved in post construction cleanup, so you shouldn't expect anymore pay than a contractor can get away with for cheap labor. I don't know about your area, but a contractor in the Atlanta, GA area can get away with paying a group of people less than $300 to clean up a site. This is for a group (team of 3 - 5) men working VERY hard and getting the job done in a day. The contractors don't usually care about thoroughness, just enough to get by, so selling them on your top quality will usually not work.

Sorry if this sounds bleak, I'm just trying to point out the facts.

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Ryan,

Thanks for your reply.

My main question is still when do people do the rough cleanup.......in phases, after plumbing, drywall or before carpeting? I am trying to determine when I should go in to do the rough cleanup and then I can figure that into the outside cleanup.

I hear around the Chicagoland area you can get between 250-600 per house for the rough cleanup. It depends obviously if your dealing with a tract builder or custom builder.

Any info on when rough cleanup begins and what it entails would be helpfully.

Thanks,

Mick

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A good builder *should* have a provision in the contracts with the sub-contractors that each one will remove their own trash (drywall removes all drywall scraps, framers remove all wood scrap, etc.). In reality, this hardly ever happens to an acceptable degree. I've helped some friends who are building houses with their cleanup (never done it for a contractor or builder, and never for money) and have found that it's best to do it several times on the interior while the house is going up and maybe once or twice on the outside. The biggest mess you will probably find is pieces of wire from the electricians, MANY wood scraps from the framers/carpenters, and LOTS of sawdust EVERYWHERE!!!! If the builders are concerned about offering top quality on the houses they build, then I would suggest you do a very good cleaning before the insulation people come in to put up their stuff. This will remove any dirt, dust, bugs, etc. from inside the walls. Another cleaning after the drywall is up but before the painters come in (you don't want any dust getting stirred up and getting into the paint). The carpet people will probably do their own thing before installing it, but you might want to make sure.

The basic answer would be to clean just before the most crucial stage of the houses completion (typically before the walls are finished since you can't do anything once they're in place). If you want to get into this and optimize your speed, I would suggest investing in a high-capacity vacuum unit (so you don't have to constantly empty it), a few push brooms and large pan, a few rolling trash cans, and one of those big trash dumpsters on wheels (around 100 - 200 gallon capacity) so you can put larger scraps of wood, insulation, drywall, etc. in. Maybe a generator if no electricity in place yet. Cleaning in phases would definitely save you some time if you are doing tract housing and can do many houses in one day.

That sounds like decent money for cleanup work if it can be done in a single day. Just wear a mask while you clean....I was blowing dust and dirt out of my nose for a week after one project (where I didn't have protection).

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Ryan,

Again thanks for the Info.

Still would like to hear from someone who does this line of work on a fulltime basis or as a main source of income.

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Mick,

It varies from builder to builder.

Best to get requirement from the builder - I don't know how you can bid the work any other way. This will avoid misunderstanding and match your estimate to the work requirement. If the builder will not tell you what he expects up front, you can be sure he'll be down your back every other day for something that he thinks you should have done but you didn't think was part of the scope.

For example:

Some builders require the lumber and bricks to be hauled away, while others only require it to be placed in dumpsters they supply.

Then there are other builders who require some of the trades (not all) to clean up after themselves (framers, drywallers and masons).

Know what types of and sizes of buildings you will be required to work on.

Houses with vinyl siding are easier to clean up than all brick. Generally, larger homes will have more trash than smaller homes. Establish a square footage estimating method based on types of houses and requirements.

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We do post construction cleaning. Although it's very difficult depending on the size of the area but it is worth for the money. For 155 sq. ft. we use 4,5 people for cleaning process.

 

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