Not many people can afford to vacate their home while you complete a remodel. Often, you'll need to work around the home's occupants as you complete a job. With that in mind, nobody likes living in a home surrounded by dirt, debris and leftover materials. Keeping your remodels neat and tidy removes safety hazards and increases the likelihood that those clients will spread the word to their friends.

Clean as You Go

Contracting is a messy business. Drywall dust flies, dirt comes in on your boots and sawdust just appears. Invest in the tools needed to clean as you go. Not only will it keep the space habitable for your clients, it will reduce the severity of the mess you must deal with later.

A portable hand vacuum can handle dry dust easily and takes up little space in your tool kit. For bigger messes, it might be practical to keep a shop vac or wet/dry vac in your truck for end-of-the-day cleanup. Paper towels and a basic cleaning solution can tidy up your work space in an instant.

Prevent Messes Before They Start

The adage holds that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keep muddy boots from tracking over the house by keeping a pair of plastic shopping bags or shower caps in your toolbox to slip on while walking through inhabited areas of the home you're working on.

Before you start a job, think of ways you can reduce, or at least contain, the mess. Tarps and newspaper can keep dust and dirt from settling on your client's furniture and flooring, and can be left in place until the job is done, for example.

Cordon Off Your Jobsite

Even a visual reminder that you're working in a specific area of a client's home or business can give a strong psychological cue that you're keeping things neat and tidy – even if your work site is a mess. Cordon off the area of the building you're working in to give clients a visual cue that it's a work in progress.

Some barriers are actually effective at keeping mess contained. ZipWall, a portable plastic sheeting system, allows you to set up an isolated space that keeps dust and dirt contained to your work space. Barring that, a makeshift room fashioned from tarps or sheeting can cut down on debris traveling outside your space.

 Portable Air Cleaners: Worth It?

Big name tool companies like DeWalt and Black and Decker make portable air cleaners. These machines catch airborne dust and dirt particles before they settle, theoretically keeping both the air and your job site cleaner. Not all scrubbers are created equally and they're ineffective if the majority of your mess is tracked in or comprised of large chunks. Consider the jobs you usually work and thoroughly scour consumer reviews of an air cleaner before investing in one.

Bundle Services with Jobsite Cleanup Companies

If keeping a job site clean isn't your forte, it's time to put those networking skills to use and reach out to your local housekeeping and cleanup crews. By bundling your remodel in with a jobsite cleanup deal from a reputable local cleaning company, you're showing clients that you care and offering them a deal in the process.

Even if clients don't take you up on the offer, showing them you care enough to put together the deal can lend a lot to your reputation as a caring, courteous contractor who cares about the job from start to finish.

Leaving a jobsite in the best condition possible will not only help your reputation and your business, but your bottom line.