Gritty construction dust is the bane of any remodeling project or large home repair job, whether you're hiring a contractor or doing the work yourself. Dust can damage furniture and rugs and ruin the finish on a hardwood floor. Plus, as I've seen with nearly every home I've remodeled, dust inevitably finds its way far beyond the work area, traveling on shoes and clothing with the slightest breeze, and even through ductwork. Although the dirtiest work takes place during demolition and drywall sanding, every phase of construction produces dust. So it's important to prepare for the onslaught before the job starts and maintain dust-containment systems to the very last days of the project. If a contractor is involved, that's his responsibility, but dust control often slips down the list of priorities, forcing you to play watchdog. If you're doing the work yourself, preparing dust-containment systems can get forgotten in your eagerness to get right into the "real work." Don't let it. Dust containment falls into two general categories: protecting floors and confining dust to the work area. It does take time to set things up properly, but I can assure you that for every dollar or hour spent preparing, you'll save five dollars and five hours on cleanup or repairs.