Whether you are remodeling the home, reconstructing an entire portion of a house, or have a few minor maintenance jobs to do, choosing whether to live in a home during the process is an important decision. There are pros and cons to either choice, and the size of a project will affect the decision made.

However, before deciding, you should speak with your licensed contractor to make sure you understand the full scale and timeline of the project. Yes, your contractor is there to provide the labor but also to answer questions you may have during construction.

After having the conversation with your contractor, factor in the following equations to determine the next step to take.

Things to consider:

  • If the job will take over a month or more, renting or subletting a home or apartment nearby may be the best option for you and your family. 
  • Renovations of homes will likely interfere with everyday patterns and schedules you hope to maintain in the home. Your peace of mind could be affected for the worst if you stay in the home.
  • Places to relocate include: hotels, temporary stays, relatives and friends’ homes, and with the sharing economy and technology, you can also stay in an AirBnB, HomeAway, or similar home renting service.
  • Work that includes more than half of a home or affects all of the bathrooms and the kitchen will likely force you to leave during renovation.
  • Minor repairs like roof patches don’t usually require moving out, but if safety is a concern, contractors will urge you to get away. 
  • A popular strategy is to go on vacation during the renovation. This way once you return the home is fixed and ready to go. 

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    Many homeowners are reluctant to leave the house during a remodel, because they don’t want to come back to a job that wasn’t done properly. Staying with the home means you can stay on top of the designers, contractors, or construction managers.

    If you do decide to stay at your home, you can easily break-up the process by simply taking a few days to get away for a mini-vacation if the stress piles up or gets unbearable. But many times alternative living arrangements are the best solution for your well-being, and the well being of your family.

    What are the Advantages to Leaving the Home?

    There’s a number of advantages to leaving a home during the renovation process. First and foremost, you’ll have a much more pleasant living experience if you aren’t staying in a home that’s doubling as a construction site. This means you’ll avoid the general and unpleasant common occurrences during construction such as dust pile-up, noise, and the constant flow of workers that are going to and from your home.

    Some companies charge people for staying in the home, because you may interfere with the timeline of the project. This means that if you leave you could save money by avoiding this fee, and save money indirectly by shortening the lifespan of the project.

    Some projects actually force you to move away for your safety’s sake. These include: major roof remodeling, asbestos and major mold removal, wood floor refinishing, and other projects that take up over half of the home, impact your health, or your ability to use the home. 

    If you do leave the house, make sure you have a trust for your contractors and the workers they will be bringing to your home. This is the perfect reason to have home security equipment and have the tools in place to keep constant watch of your home while you’re away. 

    If You Do Decide to Stay

    Staying in a home will most likely be cheaper than moving out, because hotel expenses and meals add up. (You won’t have a kitchen anymore to cook meals.) 

    You’ll be able to monitor the status of the project every day, which might provide a certain peace of mind. You’re right in the middle of the action, so you can address any issue that arises with constructors, meaning quicker resolution. 

    Considerations if you stay in the home: 

    • Know the schedule of construction. This way workers don’t trip security alarms, and you’ll know when they are in the house.
    • Create zones that are construction-free and sealed off to try and limit the amount of dust and dirt that gets around the house.
    • Turning off the HVAC unit may limit the dust that is flying through the air and the home. Running an air handler might help to filter out dust.
    • Remove any fragile belongings or decorations that might be in the danger zone near the construction site.
    • Pets and kids should be kept away from construction zones, they could get injured or extend the timeline of the project.
    • If you’re wandering around the house near the construction site, keep your shoes on. You never know what’s on the ground, and you don’t want to be injured.

    Whether you decide to leave or remain in the home will depend on many variables, your family, the project, and the timeline. Regardless of which option you choose, implement the proper game plan for your decision.