Live in or move out? 7 considerations before renovating

If you are planning to buy a ‘doer upper’, are remodelling a home for the rental market or want to add value to where you live, what you do with yourself during the project is just as important as what you do to the property.

Major renovation works can equal major disruption – think removing the roof, pulling down ceilings and taking a sledgehammer to walls. There will be noise, dust and a house full of trades, meaning you’ll be short on peace and privacy.

If your burning question is ‘should I move out during renovation works or live in?’, here are seven considerations for you to mull over.

  • Can you afford to live out?

If you’re thinking of moving out during the renovation work, factor in the cost of renting a property short term – or perhaps living in an Airbnb for a few weeks. If you can stay with family for free or go down the Grand Designs route with a caravan in the garden, you will save money.

  • Do you have a project manager?

The ability to move out may also depend on the scale of your renovations and if you’ve employed a project manager. If you’re self managing and living in, you’ll have the advantage of being around to make critical decisions in person. The luxury of a project manager, however, is that they’ll take on the day-to-day decisions on your behalf, freeing you to go to work or live elsewhere.

  • Can you plan for unexpected delays?

While moving out and escaping the chaos may sound ideal, you’ll have to plan for unexpected delays which, unfortunately, can happen when renovating a property. Likewise, if you’ve taken annual leave to stay at home, be aware you may have to return to your workplace leaving an unfinished project behind.

  • How will you clean and wash?

Never underestimate how much busy households rely on running water. Whether it’s to drink, wash up, clean clothes or bathe, the absence of water can make everyday living a challenge. Establish with your builders and plumber how long your water may potentially be turned off and when it will happen, then plan your living arrangements around the timings.

  • Can you cook ‘camping’ style?

As well as water, you may find there are periods when you’re left without gas and/or electricity. For those who are replacing their kitchen, you’ll also need to check the schedule of appliance removal and when new ones will be operational – not just fitted as gas, water and electricity will all need to be connected to start making meals again.

The novelty of cooking on a camping stove may soon wear off and take-aways can hurt the wallet after a week. Batch cooking and freezing meals ahead of renovations is an option if you can retain the use of a microwave. If your project is short but high in disruption, a week or two on holiday in a full-board hotel may be an idea.

  • Do you have children or pets?

Renovation people, small people and furry people don’t always mix, especially if your project is whole-house or your home is short on liveable space. If you’re considering moving out as a family, balance the job of packing up and the disruption to daily routines versus staying at home and working around the mess.

Did you know ingesting too much dust can lead to serious health issues for some animals? Therefore boarding your cats/dogs is sensible, as is sending smaller pets to a temporary home while work is completed.

  • Do you work from home?

If you’re having your house rewired, or are moving light switches and sockets, an electrician will frequently visit your fuse box to cut the power and the supply can also ‘trip’ without warning. Your wifi connection may be disrupted, so if you rely on the internet for emails and video calls, moving out could be a more reliable option than living in.

Also factor in the noise of pneumatic drills and circular saws – they’re not conducive for a peaceful day at your desk. You could explore the option of renting a desk in an office hub while work is ongoing, returning to the property at night.

If you’re not deterred by the prospect of power tools, piles of rubble and the job of making endless cups of tea for trades, contact us for a list of potential property projects. We can also match you with homes where someone else has done the hard work already.