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Question DetailsAsked on 2/16/2015

Air duct/vent cleaning,interior painting and new carpeting- what order should these be done? Seller has 3 cats.

Moving into a house which had 3 cats. Planning to get all the cleaning done to get rid of pet dander and hair as much as posssible. Planning to get air duct/dryer vent/chimney cleaned, replace registers, interior painting, new carpeting and professional move in cleaning. Need suggestions for the order I should schedule these above tasks.

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I would work from those most likely to kick dander into the air, down to the least "dirty" tasks. So I would start with removing the carpets (mega dust and dander spreading), then the duct/dryer and chimney cleaning which hopefully does not spread dust/ash all over but certainly you want it done before you clean or paint or put in new carpet. Replacing registers could be done at same time as duct cleaning if same contractor, otherwise any time - not a dirty task UNLESS involves cutting larger holes in the subflooring, in which case do about same time as the duct cleaning and BEFORE house cleaning/carpeting/painting.

Then I would look at what is left - those activities that spread a little dirt, and those things you do NOT want messed up because they are new. Registers need to be cut through the floor the right size which is a bit dirty, so do before the cleaning/ carpeting/ painting, but in carpeted areas registers need to be left loose so they can be removed and reinstalled over the carpet by the carpet installer - but should be preinstalled first to be sure fit correctly.

That leaves the whole house cleaning which will clean up the existing dander plus dust from the duct cleaning and carpet/padding removal and rough prep the walls for painting, then the painting, and lastly the carpet. Certainly get the cleaning done BEFORE the carpeting/painting. Bear in mind this puts the carpet last so it is not able to be damaged by cleaning/painting, but also means that and the paint fumes may control your move-in date - both to avoid moving men damaging fresh paint, and also depending on if you are allergic to the paint or carpet fumes. I have seen brand new carpet being steam cleaned because the fumes otherwise would have prevented move-in. Of course, check the vapor production of padding and carpet before you order it, realizing unless opening up a new roll you are not smelling more than a fraction of what a new install will be like.

Then painting - you don't want painting done over new carpet - just asking for trouble, and painters are NOT keen on paying to replace damaged carpeting. I remember one painter who swore up and down they could not possibly damage new $30/SF recylced random wide-plank barn flooring - only to have the handle rip out of the first 5 gallon bucket of oil based stain they carried in, and yup - spilled right in the middle of the newly installed flooring and splashed all over.

Then new carpeting and reinstall baseboards last.

The slightly oddball parts in this approach - cleaning will have to include thorough vacuuming of the subflooring where the carpet was torn up, and cleaning of the baseboards even if removed, unless painter is assigned responsibility for that.

Carpet tearup should include full removal of all nails/screws protruding in floor - though leaving edge nail strips should be OK ONLY if painter and cleaning crews are not concerned with them - otherwise have them taken out with the removal and new ones installed when carpet goes in. Only oddball part of his job is taking the old carpet up and disposing of it, then waiting some days until cleaning is done before he comes back to install new padding and carpet. And maybe removing nailing strips, if needed for other contractors.

Cleaner or Painter will have to clean the baseboards even though off the wall, then painter paints down to bottom of drywall so there is no color mismatch or blob of paint along the top of the baseboard when done, then Carpet company reinstalls the baseboard. Depending on type and color may need some nail hole filling and touchup after the fact by painter, after reinstallation. The reason I said to take baseboard off is several fold - first to get at the probably substantial amount of dander and cat hair down behind it from the cats rubbing against the wall and to disinfect if they urinated/sprayed the wall and it ran down under (very common). Secondly, to properly fit the new carpet, it should go in after the carpet - though with preplanning on thickness of carpet it can be put in first or left in place and painted in place, but usually that results in problems putting in the carpet or a large gap underneath and a messier paint job along the top edge. One thing you definitely do NOT want is painting down to the baseboard by the painter, then the flooring contractor moving the baseboard down so it is tight to the carpet, leaving an unpainted stripe above it and possibly exposed nailholes.

It is details like this that earn a general contractor his pay - coordination of the various contractor activities, and resolving any errors or conflicts without your having to be involved.

Those are my thoughts - will be interesting to see what other factors anyone throws into the works.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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