Should You Move Out During a Remodel?

Written by Ashley Sutphin Posted On Wednesday, 18 November 2020 00:00

Maybe you’ve been planning a remodel for quite some time, and you’re finally getting started. You might be doing a large-scale remodel to make your home more functional for your family, or perhaps the plan is to get it ready to sell.

Regardless of why you’re remodeling, there’s a big question that will arise: should you stay, or should you go? Meaning, should you move out while the work is being done?

The following are some of the things to think about as you decide.

Is Moving Out a Realistic Option?

If you have family or friends that are willing to take you in for a period of time, this may not be a concern, but otherwise, can you realistically afford to move out? If you’re paying several months of rent, for example, think about how much this will add to your total renovation costs.

It could be thousands or tens of thousands. That’s even if you can find a short-term rental for the window of time you’ll need.

Even if you technically have the money to move out and into temporary housing, could that money be put to better use in the remodel itself?

Do You Work From Home?

A lot of people work from home for the foreseeable future because of coronavirus. If you’re one of them, and perhaps your spouse is as well, you may need at a minimum a reliable place to work while renovations are going on.

Working in a construction zone can be even tougher than trying to live your day-to-day life in one.

Maybe staying throughout your renovation would cause your productivity to take such a hit that you just can’t manage it, in which case you might move out.

Staying Could Extend the Timeline

If you stay during a remodel, the contractor is going to have to work around you. They’re not going to be able to work hours that are as flexible such as in the evenings. They’re going to be building their schedule around yours, which might mean that it takes longer to finish things.

Plus, you’re taking up space, and your personal items are as well. That can slow down the process.

What Part of Your Home Are You Renovating?

Whether or not you move out can depend on your budget and timeline and what the project is. If you’re renovating something like a kitchen or bathroom, it can make more sense to move out. Otherwise, you may have to set up a temporary area of your home for essential functions like preparing snacks and meals.

Of course, if you’re doing a gut renovation you probably don’t have any choice. You’ll have to move out. Otherwise, in addition to the obvious downsides, you might also be exposed to toxic chemicals and fumes.

If you’re renovating something like a basement or a living area, you might not have to move. It could be that you can stay out of that area easily enough during the renovation. You just need to think about your needs and lifestyle.

Some homes have layouts that are more conducive to staying put during a renovation too. For example, maybe you have a multi-level house so you can confine most of your activities to one level or the other during renovations.

If you do stay in your home, but you restrict yourself to an area where work isn’t being done, you can rent a storage pod so you can completely empty the work area. This will keep your furniture and other items protected, and it will also make it easier for the people who are working.

Safety

Safety is another issue that is likely to sway you in one direction or the other. If you don’t have kids or pets, or your kids are older, this might not be a concern. If you do have kids or pets, staying in your home during renovations can be a safety concern.

The contractor and subcontractors should make an effort to keep their work areas sectioned off, but worksites are inherently risky.

If you’re trying to decide whether or not to move out during a remodel, there’s not one right answer that works for everyone. It depends a lot on how much you can tolerate in terms of inconvenience, your family and lifestyle, and the scope of the work being done.

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