If you’re like most new homeowners, you’ve probably spent months – or even years – dreaming about your new construction home. After the long wait, moving day is finally here! But before you start unpacking those boxes, it’s important to give your new abode a deep clean from top to bottom. After all, construction sites can leave behind dust, debris, and even potential contaminants.
Table of Contents
Getting your new build sparkling clean is no small task. However, having a comprehensive construction cleaning checklist will make the job much more manageable. Read on for tips, step-by-step instructions, and a downloadable checklist to get your new home move-in ready.
The Problem: Construction Leaves Behind a Mess
During the construction process, your home has seen a revolving door of contractors and their crews. Drywallers, plumbers, electricians – they’ve all left traces of their work behind. And while your home may have been freshly painted, there’s likely still:
- Drywall dust coating counters, cabinets, and floors
- Smears and splatters on appliances, sinks, and light fixtures
- Dust and debris tracked in from outside
- Dirt and scuffs on floors and baseboards
- Dust and cobwebs in practically every nook and cranny
This dust and grime does more than just make your home look dirty. It can also lead to
- Allergy flare-ups and irritation from dust particulates and residues
- Contaminants getting tracked inside and embedded in floors or carpets
- Odors and stuffiness from trapped construction dust
- Increased cleaning and maintenance down the road
Getting a deep clean before moving in is key to starting off on the right foot. It helps ensure your new construction home looks, feels, and functions at its best from day one.
The Solution: A Comprehensive Cleaning Checklist
According to HomeAdvisor, construction cleaning should start at the top of the home and work down.
The most efficient way to tackle a whole-house construction clean is to break it down room by room and task by task. Going through the house methodically with a detailed checklist ensures no area gets missed.
The checklist covers four main zones:
- Kitchen – Appliances, cabinets, counters, sinks, floors
- Bathrooms – Sinks, showers, tubs, mirrors, floors, fixtures
- Rooms – Windows, doors, trim, walls, floors, light fixtures
- Whole House – Air vents, baseboards, carpets, ceiling fans, hazards
Having assigned tasks makes it easy to delegate cleaning jobs to families or a professional crew. Simply print out checklists and hand them out.
The checklist also specifies cleaning methods and tools needed for each task. For example, countertops may need disinfecting, while windows are cleaned with glass cleaner.
Here’s a sneak peek at some of the tasks on the checklist:
- Clean inside appliances (oven, fridge, dishwasher)
- Wipe down the fronts of cabinets and drawers
- Disinfect countertops and clean backsplashes
- Scrub sinks, faucets, and hardware
- Mop floors and vacuum carpets
- Disinfect and scrub showers, tubs, sinks, counters
- Clean mirrors, fixtures, dispensers, lighting
- Scrub toilets inside and out
- Mop and disinfect floors
- Dust ceiling fans, vents, baseboards
- Sweep out the garage, porch, and patios
- Install new HVAC air filters
- Clean out hazards like paint cans, solvents
Construction Cleaning Checklist
Below is a downloadable construction cleaning checklist you can print out to use for your new home. Feel free to customize it to your specific needs!
- Clear countertops completely
- Clean inside appliances (refrigerator, oven, dishwasher)
- Wipe down the exterior of appliances
- Wipe down the fronts of cabinets and drawers
- Disinfect countertops, clean backsplashes
- Clean sink, faucet, and hardware
- Clean microwave interior and exterior
- Scrub stove drip pans and surface
- Sweep, mop floors, and vacuum carpets
- Disinfect shower/tub and tiles
- Scrub sink and countertops
- Clean mirror and medicine cabinet
- Sanitize the toilet inside and out
- Clean vanity and fixtures
- Wipe down bathroom cabinet fronts
- Mop and disinfect floors
- Clean interior windows and tracks
- Clean exterior windows and sills
- Clean window frames and screens
- Clean door fronts and handles
- Clean out door jambs
- Clean sliding door tracks
- Clean storm doors
Walls and Ceilings
- Remove any scuffs or marks
- Wash walls as needed
- Dust vents, fans, and ceilings
- Sweep and mop all hard floors
- Vacuum and shampoo carpets
- Clean baseboards
Lighting and Misc
- Clean light fixtures and coverings
- Clean thermostats, switch plates
- Dust blinds, wash curtains
- Clean out garage, patios, porch
- Check for any hazardous waste
- Install new air filters
- Dust baseboards, ceiling fans
- Spot clean walls throughout
Tools and Supplies
- All-purpose cleaner
- Glass cleaner
- Disinfecting wipes/spray
- Soft rags, microfiber cloths
- Broom, dustpan
- Mop and bucket
- Scrub brushes
- Step stool/ladder
- Rubber gloves
- Air filter replacements
Set Aside Plenty of Time
A thorough construction cleaning can take anywhere from several hours to a few days depending on the size of the home. Make sure to set aside ample time in your moving schedule.
If hiring a cleaning service, find out how many professional cleaners they recommend for the job and how long they estimate it will take.
Safety Comes First
The National Association of the Remodeling Industry recommends using protective gear like gloves and goggles during construction cleaning to avoid contact with hazardous residues.
Take proper safety precautions and have all the right gear. Use rubber gloves when working with harsh chemicals. Use a ladder instead of teetering on counters or furniture. Read all product labels and follow instructions.
Designate one area for hazardous materials like paint cans and solvents. Make sure to properly dispose of them.
Work Top to Bottom
Tackle high areas like ceilings, vents, and fans first. Otherwise, dust will just resettle onto clean surfaces. Next focus on walls, windows, and blinds. Finish by cleaning floors last.
Make sure to vacuum carpets before wet mopping hard floors to avoid tracking in dirt.
Construction cleaning is grueling work. Be sure to take regular breaks to rest your body and stay hydrated. This will help the work go faster with less fatigue.
Schedule the most tedious tasks for times when you have the most energy and tackle lighter jobs as you start to tire.
Celebrate with a Housewarming Party
Once your home is sparkling clean from the construction scrub-down, it’s time to celebrate! Host a housewarming party to show off your new abode and thank everyone who helped in the building process.
Of course, re-cleaning will be required after the party. But you’ll want to savor the clean slate before it gets lived in.
With some diligence and the right checklist, you can get your new construction home looking fresh and move-in ready. Tackling a whole house clean may sound daunting. However, going room to room with a detailed checklist makes the process straightforward and efficient.
Before you know it, you’ll be settled into your dream home clutter-free and contamination-free! Enjoy your beautiful new space.
How do you clean tiles after construction?
Sweep or vacuum up any loose debris. Scrub tiles with a mix of warm water and dish soap using a stiff brush. For grout, use a grout brush or an old toothbrush. Rinse thoroughly and mop up excess water. For tough stains, use a grout cleaner or whitener. Re-seal grout lines with a clear sealant.
How do you remove dust from concrete?
Sweep up loose dust with a broom or shop vac. Use a damp microfiber mop to remove embedded dust – avoid flooding the floor. For ground-in dirt, use a concrete degreaser and scrub with a stiff bristle brush. A pressure washer also works for outdoor concrete.
A construction clean checklist is an essential tool for transforming a dusty job site into a fresh, livable home. Breaking down the massive project makes it feel achievable. Safety first and top-to-bottom cleaning ensures every inch gets addressed. Completing a whole home scrub-down is hard work but well worth the effort. Enjoy your clean slate as you begin making new memories and building a life in your new abode.