How to keep a construction site clean and safe.

How well do you deal with a messy home under construction??

I can deal with dishes in the sink and dust on the baseboards but loads and loads of garbage surrounding my house gives me some kind of crazy person anxiety. I will start pacing in circles around the junk and rambling ideas off to Branko about how we need to clean this up ASAP. 

His response is usually "ummmmmmmmmmm D you realize we don't have electricity or plumbing or walls for that matter right and we need to move in 73 days" 


Well guess what the mess was getting to him too! So over the course of the last 2 weeks we have collected a large part of the garbage. 

Before - The large arrows showing the mass collections of metal, wood, and shingles. At one point it almost reached the balcony. 

Before - The front view. The arrow shows where all of that garbage was sitting. 

After - All of that garbage was sitting in front of those french doors on the lower level. 

My advise when you are under renovation is to keep everything in separate piles. We knew all of the wood was going to be burned so we tried to keep it relatively close to the area where we burn. The metal and shingles were being taken to the dump. You receive money back for metal based on the weight and since we had so much we kept that separate as well. We ended up paying $150 for garbage and received $90 back for metal. I know most people get a bin but because the dump is fairly close and we have a trailer it was more logical to take the garbage ourselves. 

Before - Back of the house. Shingles thrown from the roof scattered everywhere, insulation left over from the roof ceiling, and the metal tv tower. 

After - We used the wheel barrel to collect the shingles and bring them down to the main pile. The tower was chopped up and added to the metal pile. 

The only things that are left back here is moving that stone which will be done with a machine. We cut down a few small bushes that were in our way. Landscaping will not be completed until next year. But we will rake up any excess garbage that is on the ground. 

Even though it is not perfect it allows to freely walk around without tripping over anything. The back yard took us 30 minutes to clean up. 

Some other tips would be to keep many heavy duty construction garbage bags handy. You can purchase a large box at Home Depot. I also used Branko's metal tool and walked around and collected an entire Home Depot bucket of nails. The contraption has a long handle so you don't have to brake your break doing this. 

Do you have any tips to share below on keeping a construction zone clean and safe?? I would love to hear them!