Deciding to move forward with a large remodeling project is an exciting time – you’ll finally get your house exactly how you’ve envisioned it! Once the choice is made and the contract is signed, it is time to think about your living situation for the duration of the project. A lot of this depends on how substantial the scope of work is – obviously remodeling a single bathroom is less intrusive than renovating the entire home. We’ll cover some general pros and cons of staying at home versus moving out, timing considerations, alternative living options that clients have used in the past, and some advice on when we might recommend moving out.
The Pros and Cons of Moving Out During the Remodel
There are some definite positive aspects of moving out when the project begins – let’s cover those first. If you don’t think you can deal with any of the noise or dust that accompanies construction, then it is probably best to get away from the situation entirely. No matter the tactics and technologies we use to limit/mitigate those inconveniences, there is always some disruption that inherently accompanies tools, demolition, machinery, etc. While we do everything in our power to schedule noisy portions around your life and isolate/eliminate dust, there is no way to get it to zero. If that is a deal breaker it is best to move out for a little bit.
Moving out can actually reduce the cost of the project – provided your temporary lodging doesn’t cancel out that cost (e.g. staying with family or friends). For example, if you move out during a kitchen remodel our crew wouldn’t need to work up a temporary kitchen with your old appliances or worry about resetting plumbing fixtures each night during a bathroom remodel. The work hours could be extended earlier in the morning and/or later at night (provided that is okay with your local ordinances) to make for more efficient work days and a shorter overall project schedule. Our crews don’t need to worry about working around your family or pets and can work in a straightforward, efficient manner. (Not that we don’t love interacting with families and pets!)
The cons of moving out mostly deal with the cost and hassle of finding and living in an alternative to your home. We cover some options later on but it really can be like a minor move as you need to collect all the items that you’ll want day-to-day like school supplies, entertainment, your favorite pillow, whatever. Even if you get lucky and can stay somewhere inexpensively (or free), I don’t think you ever get as good of sleep when you’re not in your own bed. It’s not like you can’t come and go from your house even as our team is working but if you stop in every day then why move out in the first place? The added cost of moving out if you need to rent your lodging can be a deal breaker and should be carefully considered in the context of what the project itself is going to cost.
Positives and Negatives for Staying in Your House During a Construction Project
Priority number one is getting to sleep in my own bed for me to feel comfortable and personally I would be hard-pressed to leave my house during any sort of remodel besides a complete, total gut of my home. Even if it is a little messy and disruptive I would take that over the hassle of moving my family during a remodel. Another big aspect of remodeling is the interaction and participation you get you to have with our team. We like to work with the best carpenters and tradesmen and truly believe they provide a remodeling experience, not just an average construction project. Part of what you pay for when you hire R. L. Rider Remodeling is getting to see your project happen, take part in day-to-day decisions, and watch your kitchen come to life with some of the best craftsmen in Michigan.
The cons for staying home during your remodel are essentially the opposite of the pros of moving out. You do get a little of the noise and disruption and you have to navigate an active work site 24/7. We do everything possible to keep you comfortable but there is no feasible way to piece your kitchen back together each night in time for dinner! It might add a little bit of cost to the project overall due to a little less efficiency, but that will be more than made up for by not having to spend money on alternative housing for the project’s duration.
Timing Your Project Can Reduce or Eliminate Disruption
One of the main ways to minimize or eliminate the disruption of a remodel is timing the project correctly so that it barely impacts your lifestyle. Typically this can be achieved with a couple different approaches. Often we have clients who will be in the process of purchasing a home and who love almost everything about it… except for a few small details. R. L. Rider Remodeling will work with these soon-to-be home buyers and advise on budget and scope of work ahead of time. If the situation is coordinated correctly, we can perform the remodel (or at least the most intrusive parts) before the family moves in to their new home. This doesn’t always happen as their previous house may sell quickly, they want to get the move over with, etc., but it can be very nice if everything works out. We can also work in prioritized phases that complete the most important portions first and then pick away at the other items after you move in.
The other big one we see is getting the project scheduled during a big trip or vacation. Some clients spend time away in the winter to visit warmer climates, and others have an annual summer vacation destination where they take off for a month to see family and friends. Maybe you have a long cruise or road trip or are traveling out of the country. While you’ll obviously miss out on some of the day-to-day interaction, it can be a really cool experience to come back to a completely remodeled home ready to enjoy while skipping all the less enjoyable aspects! Again this is not for every situation, but it is something to consider when weighing your options.
Where Will We Stay During the Remodel?
Figuring out where you and your family will live during the course of a remodel is the next hurdle to jump if you do decide to move out. If you don’t have vacation/trip plans then obviously you need accommodations close to work, school, and your daily life. The cheapest route is to stay with members of your immediate or extended family who live nearby. Provided they have enough space, living with family members for a month or two can make you a lot closer with them as you share meals and free time that you would normally spend with just your immediate family.
For some people that sounds bearable, but for others that would be an absolute nightmare! Maybe one or two nights would be fine… two months is way too much for everybody’s sanity! If you are in this boat, the alternative is staying at an extended stay hotel/motel or finding a short-term rental. In years past, the only real option was renting out a room and living out of a suitcase to a degree. Now with the rise of sites like AirBNB and VRBO you can find a place that feels a lot more like home for as long as you’d like. Make sure to speak with the owner ahead of time and let them know your situation, but as long as you can find a decent one close to home they can be quite affordable.
Should We Move Out During the Remodeling Project?
We promised advice on whether you should move out or not during your project and want to provide that as a final wrap-up for this article. Since it is an added expense – whether financially or by getting tortured by your family – we recommend staying in your home during a remodeling project as a general rule of thumb. Construction in general, and remodeling in particular, is already expensive enough without the added costs of putting up your family elsewhere during the whole thing. R. L. Rider does enough to maintain your home’s comfort and functionality in all but the most extreme cases. The main exception is timing it around a vacation or trip as discussed a few sections ago. If you are able to coordinate your schedule with us well ahead of time then even the smallest projects are a good candidate to take off for and come back to a fresh, clean home!.
There are a few types of jobs that are best served by moving out temporarily. One example we did recently was a house-wide overhaul of the plumbing in a historic home. Upgrading the pipes meant we had to tear up many walls, shut off the water for multiple days, and generally spread out through the entire house. Similar projects might include reworking the entire electrical or HVAC (mechanical) systems as these also require working throughout the entire house and not having access to daily essentials. Another circumstance where you might want to move out is for a large-scale addition that requires lots of complex integration with the existing structure.
The decision is so dependent on the project that it really is a case-by-case basis – if you want advice on whether to stay home or move out then feel free to call R. L. Rider Remodeling and we will be happy to share our experience!