10 Tips for How to Temporarily Live Well While Building or Renovating a Home

From Katherine Brown’s home currently under construction.

These first three suggestions come from issues we have seen arise with owners that are building a new home or moving out of their existing house for a large scale renovation.

  1. Be as close to your project as possible. You want to be available should there be any questions on your project that could hinder progress.
  2. Be certain that you can extend the time on your lease with no issues should a project run over. Sometimes, no matter how capable the builder, projects can run over.  Weather plays an important part in this as well.  You don’t want to have to move to another temporary location because your house is not complete by the expected time.
  3. We had one customer get all settled in their temporary location only to find out the house they had moved into was in foreclosure. Although the chances are slim it doesn’t hurt to check.

These suggestions come from a customer going through a renovation with us right now.  Actually this is our second project with them.  We are so glad they asked us back!  Our customer, Katherine Brown, was kind enough to jot down these thoughts below.  Thank you Katherine!

  1. If you are planning on living in the house while you are renovating a room(s) or putting on an addition, the most important thing is to make a defined private space where you can live. Blocking off the work area from your living area with a barrier that is non-transparent and extremely well sealed is so important for your privacy while people are in your house for hours every day, as well as for the security of your items, not to mention for keeping out the dust!
  2. Introduce yourself to the workmen while they are there. A friendly environment helps everyone.
  3. If you have a dog, introduce him to the workmen as well. This will let your dog know that the men are not a threat and let the men know that your dog is not a threat.
  4. If you won’t have access to your kitchen, set up a kitchenette in another room. If you have room, move your refrigerator and microwave to an area near a bathroom (for the sink). Have a table set up for food prep, drying dishes and eating. While renovating our kitchen, we actually moved our stove out too. It cost a little money to have the electrician wire it up, but is was so worth it since our kitchen reno took two months.
  5. If you will only be out of a kitchen for a week or two, spend the time before the reno starts making meals for those weeks so you don’t have to go out to eat every night.
  6. If you won’t have access to your washer and dryer for a considerable amount of time, consider having the contractor move it to another area if you can. We moved it, didn’t worry about hot water hook-up, but It was still much preferable to a laundromat.
  7. What to store: Anything you can live without! The emptier your living space is for the duration of the project, the more sane you will stay!

We wish you the very best with your upcoming project.  If you have any questions along the way we are happy to help!