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The Remodeling Dilemma: Do You Stay or Do you Go?

You have been wishing and waiting for what seems like forever, but the time to remodel your home is finally here! Now, how do you decide if you should stay or go?

Here are ten items to consider when making the decision whether or not to live through a home remodel.

1. Scope of Work

Whether you should stay or go often depends solely on the type of renovation occurring at your home. Replacing a roof or raising a home will very often disturb plumbing services, electricity, heating, and air conditioning, making it extremely uncomfortable to stay. Some jobs, such as refinishing floors, requires that a homeowner stay away from home because of the fumes. Work that involves most of your home or affects the use of all your bathrooms or kitchens will definitely lead you in the direction of finding an alternate dwelling. You can get by without a kitchen, but also not having bathrooms would preclude you from bathing, using the toilet, and washing dishes.

2. Cost

An obvious consideration is cost. Most homeowners understand that staying at a hotel can be expensive, and often choose to stay with relatives to avoid this cost. But many homeowners only consider the cost of finding an alternative living situation. What they don’t consider is the cost of staying. Some contractors charge more for clients should they decide to stay, knowing there will be additional costs for cleanup and rushes on mechanical work (so that services such as plumbing, gas, and electrical are not suspended for long periods) and that they may be delayed on site by lengthy conversations with homeowners.

3. Children

Parents must consider what is in the best interest of their children when it comes to staying in a home being remodeled. Depending on the type of work, (even if a contractor is following appropriate protocol for containment) children could possibly be exposed to levels of dust (see below), lead, or mold that may perhaps be harmful. Also, if your child naps, he or she may be better off in a different living situation. Unfortunately, work cannot stop to accommodate children’s schedules.

4. Pets

Pets can be a serious distraction for contractors. Although we all love our pets, a dog running under a ladder or distracting a contractor who is operating a heavy/dangerous piece of machinery could result in an unsafe situation. Depending upon the pet, it may be best to keep him or her in a single room away from the renovation area or perhaps in a crate or cage. Loud continuous noise can be very disturbing to animals. It is best to consider the effects construction would have on your animals before choosing to stay.

5. Preparing Meals

Preparing meals can be difficult for those renovating a kitchen area. But, setting up a make shift kitchen can be very effective for many clients. Freezing meals in advance and going out for dinners can make this situation doable for a short period of time. For renovations lasting months, the strain of meal preparation and washing dishes in the bathtub can often be daunting.

6. Cleaning

Dust is an inevitable result of demolition, sheet rocking, and carpentry work. It is imperative that your contractor put up plastic barriers between rooms and put runners on the floors. It may even be worthwhile to have your contractor run an air scrubber. But, even with these precautions, dust will still permeate most areas surrounding your renovation. In addition to constant dusting, if you no longer have a kitchen, washing dishes in a bathtub becomes a tedious hassle. Not to mention that bathing in a tub with bits of chicken stuck to the floor is surely not hygienic!

7. Noise

Let’s be honest; there is no getting around the persistent, loud, and incessant noise coming from a job site. Some clients resort to earplugs to minimize the noise. But if you work from home the noise can be a major distraction. Trying to perform daily job duties such as client communications or conference calls can be quite difficult.

8. Privacy

Having contractors in your home on a daily basis can definitely feel like an invasion of your privacy. Often, contractors can section off rooms away from the working zone to offer clients a secluded area free from workers. But more often than not, you will find workers traipsing through your home to get to the basement or attic, or trudging through your kitchen at breakfast. There is nothing worse than coming out of the bathroom in your towel and realizing that there is a contractor working on the skylight in your bedroom.

9. Stress

Remodeling a home can be stressful, whether you choose to leave or stay. But staying in a home under construction can bring on unnecessary additional stress! The noise, mess, and overall disturbances of remodeling can take their toll on even the most optimistic homeowner. When your home becomes a construction site, even the simplest tasks can seem overwhelming. Reorganizing your family’s routines and living out of boxes for weeks or months in addition to the financial pressures of a remodel can create tension and stress for all members of the family.

10. Timing

Last, but certainly not least, is the timing. What is the estimated time of completion? If the job will only take a couple of weeks, a little disturbance to your life may not be all that bad. However, if the work is estimated to last for months, it is important to take into consideration all the variables and logistics of staying and how long you believe you can endure such a daily disruption. Also, contractors will usually agree that an unoccupied home is considerably more productive for crews. Without disruptions and spending additional hours cleaning on a daily basis, and with the option to have work continue after hours, the job can be completed in a much shorter time frame.

Deciding whether you should stay or go during your remodel involves carefully considering what is important to you and how much disruption is manageable for you and your family. Should you decide to move out, keep close tabs on the progress and monitor the work by visiting the property regularly. And always be accessible via phone should a decision need to be made quickly.

Whether you stay or go, a home remodel will have an impact on your day-to-day life, but the final results will be worth it!

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