Move out or Stay in: Living amidst home renovation construction

home renovation

After tons of consideration, you’ve finally decided to renovate your property. Whether it’s to make your living conditions more comfortable or to increase the property’s value and eventually turn it into a rental investment, renovation is a tricky task. Even after the required permits have been approved, the budget has been set, and the construction crew have all been booked, there’s still one burning question you need to answer: do you stay, or do you move out while the renovation is ongoing?

For smaller additions or changes to your property, it will be perfectly fine to stay in your home as you will be able to manage the situation better. For bigger projects such as a complete overhaul and upgrade of your home, it will be better to find other accommodation.

You will have to plan and budget for this in advance, as all your furniture and other possessions will have to go into storage and you will have to find a rental property that suits you if you are not going to live with family for the time being.

While there are pros and cons to both options, it is best to move out during a major renovation due to several reasons:

  1. You can move to a more comfortable place without the construction noise and dust
  2. Moving out is a safer option, especially if you are living with kids, pets, or elderlies
  3. You will give the workmen the space they need to do the job properly

At what stage do I consider moving out?

  • Scope. Renovating a small space or just doing some minor alterations does not warrant moving out. However, keep in mind that that there will be some adjustments you need to make for the workmen to be able to carry out their tasks. Plus, you won’t be able to use the space or room being renovated for the time being. Sometimes a project can organically grow in size and you may add more things to the list, or the workmen may discover something major that needs fixing first: depending on the scope of this, you may end up moving out after all if it ends up being a structural issue for instance.
  • Interruptions. If you have anything that affects or interrupts the electricity, plumbing, Wi-Fi (if you work from home) for a long period of time and makes it impossible to live a somewhat normal life, move out.
  • Noise: At first, you may be brave enough to weather the storm, but if all the drilling, hammering, shouting and knocking starts becoming too much, it will be best to just move out.
  • Duration: It is all too well-known that projects seldom finish on time as there are factors that are beyond even the builder’s control. Staying in a house being renovated for a couple of weeks should be fine, however, if the project drags on for a month or so, then it may be best to move out of the house.
  • Health and safety: A building site is always a risk as it can be unsafe in so many ways. There may be chemicals, electrical wires, rebar sticking out everywhere. You also have to be careful around workmen’s tools such as scaffolding, ladders, drills, hammers, and saws, especially if you have children and pets. In older properties, there may also be some toxins stirred up in the air such as asbestos. Instead of risking your and your family’s health, moving out is your best choice.
  • Costs: Staying is a more budget friendly option. Considering all the expenses you will incur such paying the workers and the movers, buying the renovation materials, and renting some equipment, it’s understandable if you prefer staying in during renovation. However, if it means risking your safety, cost is irrelevant.
  • Deadlines: With you around the property, workmen will take longer to finish the project as they must work around you and your family. This may end up costing you more in the long run. They also have to clean up the site and secure it each day before they leave, and this will cost extra. Then the better option is to move out, as the work will be completed sooner and cost less.

Where to stay if you move out?

  • Stay with friends or family (especially if it is just for a short period of time)
  • Stay at a hotel
  • Rent another home. This is the best option if you plan on being out of your home for a long time and have pets.

Things to keep in mind when you move out for a lengthy period of time:

  • Decide what you want to do with internet/Wi-Fi and other subscriptions
  • Find the right size storage for the stuff you have to relocate. This can be:
    • another room in your home that can be locked;
    • rent a portable container that can be delivered to your home;
    • rent a self-storage unit (which may seem as the cheaper option but you will have to pay movers to deliver all your belongings to the self-storage  and it will be more work as you have to pack and organise everything yourself

This will be an opportune time to declutter your home and you will also end up needing less storage space at the same time. This includes important documentation, medicines and sentimental items that cannot be replaced. Once you have moved out, keep an eye on the progress of the renovations without pestering the workmen or construction company, but always make sure things stay on budget. Never make impulsive decisions on-site or be pressured by the contractors to do anything that you have not already agreed to or signed off and always keep to what is stipulated in the agreement regarding the work to be carried out.