Once you’ve finished making plans for a major renovation, you’re faced with one more major question: should you stay in your home during the remodel? Doing so is a good choice in many cases: you’ll save money and you’ll be better able to oversee the work as it progresses. Use these tips to make a practical plan for how to live through a renovation without sacrificing too much of your routine.
If you want to stay in your home during a remodel, you first have to pack as though you’re moving. It’s impossible to totally protect your belongings from dust and damage while the work is going on and it would be a nightmare to try to clean them up afterwards. Instead, pack away everything you don’t absolutely need in airtight containers until the work is done.
When you’re remodeling while living in your house, beginning and ending work at set times every day enables you to adapt your routines to the new normal that comes with a major project. This applies whether you’ve hired contractors or are handling the work yourself. You’ll be able to start and end your day in peace and, if you hired contractors, privacy.
In order to live through a home renovation, you need an area within your house where you can still, well, live. Designate one room or area as a renovation-free zone and make it as homey as possible. Remember to keep a microwave, crockpot and/or other small appliances here so that you can still cook even if your range can’t be used for a while.
Depending on what type of remodeling work you’re doing, your family may also need to sleep in this area for a period of time. If so, plan out a makeshift sleeping area that can be easily packed away during the day.
Outside of your living area, ensure that there will always be at least one working bathroom which can be safely accessed throughout the project.
Despite the zip-walls and other dust barriers you or your contractors will use, your home is still going to get very, very dusty. If you plan to stay in your home during the renovation, it’s important to use, or instruct your contractors to use, air handlers to filter out the worst of the dust. You might also consider getting a portable air cleaner for your living area as an added line of defense.
Remodeling can be done while people are living in the house, but pets may be a different story. Pets that are curious about visitors may be able to get past the barriers around work areas, putting themselves and your contractors’ safety at risk. Pets that become agitated by loud noises may not be able to cope with the constant noise of a renovation. Another danger is that your pets may slip out of the house unnoticed as workers come and go throughout the day.
If you have any doubts about your pets’ ability to comfortably stay put in your living area during your renovation, it’s best to find somewhere else for them to stay.