How to decide whether to stay home or leave during a renovation

Phantom Screens / August 3, 2016

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Big remodeling projects are exciting because they can change the entire feel of your indoor and outdoor living spaces. Whether you’re installing new windows or adding another story to your home, you may have wondered how much construction will interrupt your daily activities. Some homeowners decide to move in with family or stay in a hotel during the remodeling process, while others grin and bear it at home. What you choose to do will depend on a few considerations.

Scope of the remodel

Not all big remodeling projects will interfere with your daily life. For example, finishing a basement is a project that’s generally out of the way. You’ll have to deal with construction workers walking in and out of the front door with materials, but otherwise you won’t have to live in the mess. On the other hand, a complete kitchen renovation takes place in the center of your home. You may consider living at home during the former, but not during the latter. If you’re installing covered outdoor spaces or a new patio, then you certainly can stay in your home without interfering with construction. The type of project and its location will help you decide.

Cost of moving out

You’ll save money by living with your extended family, which may make a temporary move out feasible. However, some homeowners end up paying for a hotel or other lodging during construction. This – along with paying for food – can add up. Factor living expenses into your remodeling budget if you feel the need to stay at a hotel during construction. Otherwise you’ll end up spending significantly more money than you intended to at the start of the project.

How disruptive things will be

Will you have to cut out electricity or turn off water at all during the remodel? Can you still carry out your daily activities while construction is carried out? If not, then you might consider moving out for a little while. Not being able to live a normal life will pile stress onto an already large renovation, so it’s better to get away. Talk to the contractor ahead of time to see what sort of interruptions will occur.

Kids and pets

Both children and pets may make staying home during a renovation difficult. Your dog could wander onto the construction site when you aren’t looking and your kids may feel stressed by the constant presence of strangers. The well-being of your entire family should factor into your decision to either stay or leave. Of course, you could always board your dog or have a friend look after it.

Health concerns

An intense remodeling project will throw dust about the house or create fumes from various materials. Ask your contractor for advice about staying or going. Explain that you are concerned about health risks. Some projects require that you stay away for a day or two. For example, hardwood flooring gets a finish that can be toxic to breathe, so you shouldn’t be around while this process is occurring. While dust may not be as detrimental to your well-being, it can certainly be irritating for those with allergies or other breathing or lung issues.

Whatever feels best

While all these considerations are important in helping you decide whether or not to stay home, ultimately your gut feeling should guide you. You know yourself well enough to anticipate potential stress. If you don’t want to deal with the extra hassle of living around construction, then leave during the project. However, if you feel that you can handle the dust, noise and inconvenience, then stay. Talk to the rest of your family to get their reactions too!