Detailed Guide on Should You Stay or Go During a Home Renovation?
Let’s face it: renovating while living in the house has its challenges. But it’s certainly not impossible. In fact, for many homeowners in North London, it’s the preferred option.
At Combit Construction, specialist builders in North London, we know what it takes to renovate a home. And we understand the pros and cons of choosing to stay in your house during renovation. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help make the decision to go or stay just that much easier.
Factors That Might Determine Whether You Stay or Leave:
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to deciding whether to stay or leave during your home renovation. The decision is a personal one, and it will be determined by your specific circumstances and your household’s needs. Here are a few things that might influence your decision:
One of the main reasons that clients choose to stay in their home during the renovation process is cost. If moving out involves renting another property, it may be too much of a financial strain. Also, hiring a removalist to help you shift all your belongings involves significant cost.
If location is important (e.g., your home is close to your work or school) you may wish to stay right where you are and put up with the negatives of living in a renovation.
Mess & noise – can you tolerate living on a building site?
Living in during house renovation involves a lot of mess and noise, and if you wish to avoid the disruption and dust, you might be best to shift out. This is a major consideration, especially for families with little children and babies.
What are you renovating? Will it be too inconvenient?
Depending on the scale of the works being undertaken, you can reasonably expect a certain amount of inconvenience and disruption to your daily schedule (e.g., you may be without a kitchen for a while if you are renovating this area). You need to think about whether or not you can work around this inconvenience.
Does your home layout lend itself to a renovating scenario? I.e., can you and your family move upstairs while the renovations are underway downstairs (or vice versa)? If your home is bungalow style, can you live in the back of the home while the front is renovated? Think about ways to turn the layout of your home to your advantage.
Pros and Cons of Staying Home During a Renovation:
If you decide to stay, a bit of creativity and flexibility will go a long way towards turning this possibly inconvenient and stressful time in your life into a workable and even a memorable time for you and your family.
Pros of Staying Home During a Renovation:
Still not sure what to do? Let’s take a closer look at the pros of renovating while living in the house:
Get to Know Your Contractor:
Before you sign up with your building team, find out as much as you can about them. Look at reviews online. Talk to previous clients about their experiences and find out how others have got on living in during their home renovations. Choosing a builder that you feel comfortable with and that you can trust is super important.
Living in during house renovation will allow you to get to know your builder even better. This hands-on experience is a great way to build up positive relationships with each member of the team – after all, these are the people you are allowing into your home and relying on to turn your renovation dreams into a reality.
You can save yourself a pretty penny in removalist costs and rent by living in house while renovating. Quality home renovations don’t come cheap, and at a time in your life when expenses are high, you might wish to save the money and put up with any inconveniences.
Watch and Learn:
There’s nothing like watching first-hand to gain an insight into every stage of your project. Being around the project from day 1 is a great way to understand exactly how much work goes into the creation of your new space, and if you’re observant, you might even learn a few tricks of the trade that could be helpful in your own DIY projects!
Cons of Staying Home During a Renovation:
There’s no denying that living through renovations throws up some challenges. Let’s be honest and look at a few of the cons of stay at home additions:
Noise & Mess:
Yes, there’ll be plenty of dust and plenty of noise – that’s the reality of renovations. And if you’re a cleaning fanatic, you might find this a bit overwhelming.
If you choose to stay at home during the renovation process you need to have strategies in place to cope with the mess and the extra noise, especially if you are a household with small children. Talk to your builder about ways to minimize the impact of this.
Limited Living Conditions:
Depending on what your renovations involve, you may be limited to living in just a part of your home during the renovation process. Be honest with yourself and decide whether you can cope with cramped, makeshift living conditions for a while.
Living through a kitchen remodel might mean that your kitchen isn’t accessible for a while – can you make do without it? What about the bathroom – if this is being renovated, do you have family you can call on for access to showers etc?
With tradespeople coming and going from your home all day, you’ll have to be prepared to kiss some your privacy goodbye for a while! However, most builders have set work hours, so knowing you can have your house ‘back’ in the evening will make this inconvenience more tolerable.
Extended Overall Renovation Time:
Staying at home during the renovation process may lengthen the overall time of the project, and the reason is simple: if your building team has free access to every part of the remodel at any time, they can move the project along faster without as much preparatory work. For them, working around you might make the progress a bit slower.
Survival Strategies for Renovating a House While Living in It:
If you decide to stay home during the home renovation process, there are loads of things you can do to make this challenging time more enjoyable and workable for everyone:
1. Have Faith in your Builder:
Trusting your builder/building team is key to maintaining harmonious relationship during your home renovation. Even if you don’t understand every detail of the construction process, trusting them to do the job properly will allow them the freedom to get in and get the job done as efficiently as possible.
2. Create Areas for Work, Living and Play:
Although your living quarters might be somewhat makeshift and cramped, do your best to designate areas for working, general living, and children’s play. Talk to members of your household about this and enlist their co-operation to make this work as well as possible.
Having set areas for different household activities will go a long way towards saving your sanity and maintaining some form of normality and family routine, especially if yours is a family with small children.
3. Plan, Plan, Plan:
Work along with your building team to plan a calendar of the significant steps of your project. Clear, honest communication between both parties will ensure that the project runs as smoothly as possible and that deadlines can be met for both parties.
With the help of planned a calendar you can do your bit to keep the ball rolling by having areas ready for demolition or construction as needed. Also, if you understand when each area will be needed or completed, you can plan your household life accordingly.
Prep family meals ahead of time. If you know you’ll be without a kitchen, cook up a storm and freeze it to make life easier during the period you’ll be without an oven and/or cooktop.
4. Store Your Essentials Elsewhere:
You will not have access to storage in the areas of renovation, so you’ll need to store your food and household items elsewhere before the project gets underway.
A good dose of creativity is essential when your home renovation work is underway – for example, if your kitchen is out of bounds, you might consider turning your laundry into temporary food prep and washing up station. You won’t want to be dining out every night, so if you’re without an oven, plan your family meals around the BBQ and the microwave.
Living/lounge area unusable? How about shifting your sofas and entertainment gear into a bedroom for the duration? Be prepared to think outside the box and make your stay-at-home renovations an adventure rather than an existence!
5. Safety First:
Personal safety is always a priority, so take extra steps to protect your children, family members and pets during this difficult time. You might feel like you need eyes in the back of your head, but it’s important to take extra care of everyone when there’s safety hazards present.
Where possible, assign one outside access to the building team and use the other access for family members. Make family members aware of dangers and block off areas that are unsafe for children. It might be safer for you to visit elderly friends or relatives during this time, rather than inviting them into your home.
6. Bathroom Strategy:
Bathroom renovations present a unique set of issues, especially if yours is a household with children and the demand for toilets is high! You’ll need a survival strategy here, and everybody in the house needs to be on board with it.
Schedule your renovations so that only one bathroom is being remodelled at a time. If possible, assign one toilet to the building crew and you and the family use the other one/s.
Create a daily showering schedule so that everyone is given enough time. Alternatively, you might be able to ask friends or family if you can shower there. If push really comes to shove, you might have to resort to showering at your local gym!
7. Take Steps to Stop the Dust from Spreading:
Building dust seems to find its way into every nook and cranny of the home, but it’s a good idea to talk to your building team about strategies to stop the dust from spreading.
Keeping the doors shut between your living space and the renovations is an obvious measure. However, you might also want to box up precious items that you won’t need and keep your food and essentials in containers with lids. Use plastic sheets to seal off rooms and protect furniture.
8. Spend time Outdoors:
Now is a great time to make the most of the big outdoors (weather depending of course!). If you have an outdoor entertaining area, make the most of it for living and cooking. If you don’t have this luxury, consider visiting your local park and using the BBQ facilities there to cook a meal now and again.
If you have a good-sized garden, a backyard tent can make a great covered play area for small children. Again, be creative and make your renovation journey a memorable one for you and your family.
9. Develop mental and physical health plans:
The process of remodelling a home is taxing on the strongest of nerves, so it’s important to take time out to care for your physical and mental health.
Step #1: a positive mindset. Think long-term – any inconvenience is merely a means to an end, and the finished result will be worth all the hassle.
Try to maintain a regular physical exercise plan, especially if you’re living in cramped conditions at home. Time spent exercising in the fresh air is a great way to blow away the cobwebs of home stresses! Air purifiers are a great way to maintain indoor air quality and protect your health.
Plan some ‘me-time’ and special activities for the children – a visit to your local coffee shop with a friend or a trip to a fun park with the family. Remember, everyone is doing it tough while you renovate, so try to make ‘fun time’ for everyone.
10. Maintain a Construction-free Zone:
It’s wise to maintain at least one construction-free zone during the process of remodelling a home. This area can be used for family relaxation and casual entertaining, allowing you to live your life as normally as possible. Keep in touch with your builders – as one stage of the project is complete, you may need to shift your construction-free zone to another part of the house so that the next stage can be carried out.
At Combit Construction, we fully understand the challenges of renovating a house while living in it. And Igor and the team have developed strategies to help clients overcome these obstacles and make their daily life as easy as possible while their remodel is underway.
For more information on how to survive building a house, call us today on +44208 457 2772.
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