Move out or live through a renovation? Factors to consider

The construction crew in charge of your renovation will come in a few days. Are you going to stay in or move out?
house renovation

When going through a house renovation, there’s one important question that you have to ask yourself: is it better to stay or move out temporarily? There are pros and cons to each option, and that’s what makes the decision quite tough for Aussie homeowners.

In this guide, we’ll help you decide whether you should stay or move out. We’ll also give you some helpful tips on how to have a stress-free home renovation experience.

Let’s begin!

Move out: You’re doing a major house renovation

As a rule of thumb, if you’re doing a large-scale renovation of your kitchen and your bathroom, then it makes sense to move out. The same goes for those who are removing and replacing their roofs. 

Moreover, if you’re removing toxic materials (i.e., asbestos or mould) from your house, you will definitely need to move out to ensure your safety.

Stay: You have a temporary bathroom and kitchen

Living through a renovation is tough, but if you continue to have access to a cooking area and a functional bathroom, you might be able to survive. 

For example, if you have multiple bathrooms in the house, you can choose to keep one functional while the other is being renovated.

On the other hand, you can create a makeshift kitchen by moving your stovetop, refrigerator, and utensils, to your garage or your outdoor patio.

This will allow you to save money compared to paying rent for another place.

Move out: You live with kids, pets, or older adults

If you’re living with small children, elderly parents, or pets, then you have to consider moving out. While you might have the patience to deal with all the noise coming from jackhammers and welding machines, others might not. Plus, the dust and debris coming from the renovation may be intolerable for the elderly, your kids, or pets.

house renovation with dog

Stay: You have a flexible schedule

If you have a flexible schedule at your job, you can opt to stay in your house during the renovation. The renovations will affect your daily routine, but if you have a flexible schedule, you can make it work.

For example, you can shower later than other people in the house if you’re sharing one bathroom. You can also opt to work in the evening when it’s quieter.

Move out: You have temporary housing options nearby

If you can book a short-term rental or live with relatives while the renovation is ongoing, moving out may be the better option. Make sure that the location is still close enough to your house that you can visit the site a couple of times a week to check on your project.

When checking out your options for temporary housing, you also have to figure out how long it would take to renovate your house. In general, small to medium projects can take 4-8 weeks*. Meanwhile, extensive renovations and new builds can take 6 to 10 weeks.* If your budget can handle staying in a short-term rental apartment for this long, then moving out may be the right option.

*Disclaimer: These timelines are only estimates.

Tips for homeowners living through a house renovation

1. Protect your belongings

Even if you’re staying in the house, you should pack up as if you were leaving in order to protect your belongings.

Lay down tarpaulins or blankets so that bulky furniture won’t get damaged by dust and debris during the house renovation process. You should also pack up curtains, bedding, and clothing and put them in storage. Label everything accordingly. 

Finally, don’t turn on the air conditioner to prevent dust from circulating around the house.

2. Work with the house renovation project timeline

By looking at your builder’s schedule and project timeline, you can tell which parts of your house you can still occupy during the renovation. That way, you can prepare rooms to sleep, eat, study, or work beforehand.

3. Keep kids, older adults, and pets safe during house renovation

Keeping members of the family safe during the renovation should be one of your top priorities. Make sure that they have separate entrances and living spaces from your work crew. That way, they won’t have access to construction tools and materials.

If necessary, you can install gates to keep pets and small children out of certain rooms. You should also lock doors to rooms that are under construction.

locked door to house renovation

4. Avoid distracting your builders

Being present during the renovation process means you can supervise the project more closely, but there are also times when homeowners tend to delay the project by distracting their builders. They can start unnecessary chats or try to DIY some projects without prior knowledge or experience. 

As much as possible, allow your workers to focus on their work and discuss the status of the project before or after work hours. You can also listen in during their meetings to get status updates.

Tips for homeowners who are moving out

1. Prepare funds for extended stays

If you are staying at a nearby rental property or a hotel during the renovation, make sure to prepare extra funds for extended stays. In fact, homeowners who have been through the same situation advise that you should have enough contingency funds so you can stay in your temporary residence for twice the time than you had initially anticipated. 

That way, you’ll continue to have a place to stay even if your project hits an unexpected delay or a roadblock. 

2. Move out only during the most stressful parts of the house renovation

Check your builder’s project timeline to see which dates you should be out of the house. You can move out during the demolition phase or when your bathrooms are being renovated. During other phases of the renovation, you can opt to stay at your house to save money.

family moving out with boxes

3. Take all your essentials and valuables

When moving out, make sure to take all your essentials with you, like toiletries, medications, clothes, and shoes. Aside from that, you should also bring your valuables, such as jewellery, expensive electronics, valuable artwork, important documents, and items with sentimental value.

4. Don’t forget to forward mail and check subscriptions during house renovation

If you’re going to be living away from your home for several weeks or months, consider cancelling your cable or Internet subscription in the meantime. You should also remember to forward mail or phone calls to your temporary residence.

Frequently asked questions on house renovation

If it’s your first time renovating a house, you may have several questions about the process. Here, we’ll answer some of the most common questions about the matter:

Is it safe to stay in your house during the renovation?

It depends on the work that’s being done and the layout of your house. Any work that involves removing mould, lead-based paint, or asbestos is not safe for people and pets. Additionally, if you have a family member with asthma or severe allergic reactions to dust, you have to consider moving out.

Otherwise, if you can seal off the construction area and have a separate entrance and living space for your family members, then it’s relatively safe to stay throughout the process.

How do you track your house renovation if you move out?

Most builders provide constant updates to owners about how their house is progressing. They usually do this via text, chat, or email. Regardless, you should try to visit the site twice a week to monitor the progress.

Our project planning dashboard at Superdraft has a timeline view that allows you to see the different stages of your home renovation project and the expected completion time.

Is it cheaper to stay during the house renovation?

It depends. Most people think that moving out costs more since you need to pay for temporary housing and move your belongings to your temporary residence. 

However, moving out can also save money because builders sometimes charge more to homeowners who decide to stay during the renovation. The additional charge covers the costs of using more materials for site protection and daily cleanup.

Builders also appreciate being able to work round the clock without having to worry if they’re causing plumbing or electrical interruptions. This will allow them to finish the project faster and enable you to save money on labour.

man demolishing wall with sledgehammer

Start your house renovation project now

Deciding to live through the house renovation or to move out is a personal decision. You must consider the pros and cons, depending on your situation. Assess the amount of work to be done and the time the builders need to finish construction. Once you figure out the scope of the project and the specifics of the construction and design, you’ll figure out where you will stay while the work is being done.

No matter which one you choose, you can use Superdraft to ensure that your house renovation goes smoothly. We can help you:

  • Plan your entire renovation with the help of a friendly and knowledgeable consultant
  • Get matched with an experienced and reliable building designer and draftsman
  • Manage and monitor your project using our project planning dashboard
  • Obtain council approval for your home renovation plans
  • Find a trusted and capable builder who can execute your project as smoothly as possible

Sign up for our award-winning project planning platform now!

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