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Enjoyable sustainable renovations

To live or not to live in your home while renovating

7 July 2024
Brockley South London - Entire home refurb

Deciding to live in your home while renovating it is a deeply personal decision that depends on your unique circumstances. Here are some considerations to help you determine your personal preference and what could tip the balance for you when deciding.

Important considerations:

  • Cost: Compare the costs of renting, packing, and relocating with the costs of staying during the renovation, as this can help you make a more informed decision. But costs are not only financial. Read on.
  • Time: Renovations typically take longer if you remain home than if you temporarily relocate. When estimating project duration, avoid relying only on building contractors' estimations. It is a common scenario that renovation projects last much longer than anticipated by contractors. Think double or triple - especially when living in.
  • Disruption: Renovations significantly disrupt daily life. Living in a construction zone is noisy, messy, and inconvenient. Most people can't easily cope. If you think you generally can manage, give yourself some grace and consider the possible moments you won't. Have a plan for that time, like staying at a friend's house for a night or two. And what should we say about other household members? Are you responsible for their well-being? Some renovators say that moving out during project execution was a worthwhile investment.
  • Accessibility: Is staying in your home during the renovation feasible? Will you have access to basic kitchen and bathroom facilities? If you're staying in a property undergoing electrical and plumbing works, there may be times when living in is not possible. Planning the logistics of everyday life will be time-consuming as you will have to clean often and repeatedly move your living bases within your property. Who will be responsible for this and take the burden of the work within your household?

Questions you can ask yourself to decide if you want to stay in your home while renovating it :

๐Ÿ“Œ Do you (really) know what youโ€™re getting into?

๐Ÿ“Œ Are you and other household members adaptable and resilient?

๐Ÿ“Œ Does anyone in your household have dust or product allergies?

๐Ÿ“Œ Do you enjoy camping and challenges?

๐Ÿ“Œ Do you work from home? How will noise affect your ability to work?

๐Ÿ“Œ Does your household include crawling babies, toddlers, or pets? Will they be safe?

๐Ÿ“Œ Will you want builders to clean up thoroughly each day? (This may add time to the project.)

๐Ÿ“Œ Do you have another place to shower?

๐Ÿ“Œ Do you like having takeout food? Consider the costs of eating out.

๐Ÿ“Œ Have you notified your home insurance about the scope of the work?

Questions you can ask yourself if you decide not to stay in your home while renovating:

โ›๏ธ Can you visit the site to manage it daily? Moving out does not mean you won't have to spend much time at your property. It is ill-advised to think that renovating is a good time to go on holiday as your close supervision is required. Choose a place from where you can easily travel to your property.

โ›๏ธ Have you put in place adequate protections for your home? If you have not informed your insurer that your property will be vacant for renovations, it could invalidate your home insurance (building and contents).

โ›๏ธ Have you considered how you will protect any parts of the home that will not be renovated, such as floors and any furniture remaining on-site? It is not enough to rely on contractors' word that they will lay protective covers. Ensure this is written in the contract, and take responsibility for verifying that it is done to your satisfaction by visiting the site and purchasing and fitting the protective covers yourself if you have to.

Consider your comfort levels, lifestyle, and the practicality of each option for yourself and your household.

Need support figuring out your projectโ€™s logistics?

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