By Anita Alvarez
The excitement of a revamped home holds nothing over the reality of living through a remodel. Nevermind the sawdust and the disruption to your normal routine, or dreaming of a future with a well-insulated and newly designed interior. Try living without a kitchen or bathroom for an extended period of time. Before you move ahead with your remodel, decide if it’s better to stay or go.
The expense of finding a rental or hotel for anywhere from a few days to a few months is often just not in the budget for many families. Besides the cost, relocating can extend your travel time to work and school, and put a damper on friendships. However, if you can afford to get out of dodge while the work gets underway, you won’t have to put up with the noise, dust and boxes of stuff piled here and there.
If you choose to stay in the home while it’s remodeled, get ready for some major adjustments. Here are a few things you should consider doing:
- Seal it up. If contractors will be busy at work in the kitchen, request that workers seal off the area to keep dirt to a minimum.
- Mark it off. Make sure there’s at least one area in the home that’s construction-free so you and your family have somewhere to go to get away from the disruption.
- Because there will be lots of traffic in and out of the home and copious amounts of dust, remove what you can and put it in storage. Box up knick-knacks and put away items you don’t really need during the remodel.
- Don’t run the HVAC. If it’s at all possible, don’t run the furnace or A/C during the day when crews are hard at work, stirring up dust. The HVAC system will just route dust from one space to the rest of the home, spreading dirt in the process.
- Pay for the basics. If your bathroom is being remodeled, splurge on a secondary source. Even though porta potties aren’t glamorous, they’re better than having no toilet at all. Ask your contractor if the job site will pay for the potty, or consider forking over the cash.
- Create a pop-up kitchen. You’ll need to cook during the time your kitchen is remodeled, so it’s important to carve out a space for the fridge, microwave and toaster oven/hot plate. Keep all of the essentials in one place, such as the coffeemaker, can opener, utensils, etc. Ditch the real dishes and opt for disposal cups and plates to make clean-up easier. Set up a table where you can do meal prep, and then eat together as a family.
Work with your contractor during the remodeling project so you know when you’ll lose valuable utilities. If you’re going to be without electrical for a day, make that the day you take the family out to eat. If you’ll be without water, stock up on bottled water and schedule showers at a friend’s home. Even though the remodel work can be taxing if you choose to stay in the home, you’ll save money by living life as uninterrupted as possible. When the process is over, you’ll enjoy your newly waterproofed basement and open floor plan.
Anita Alvarez covers home improvement, small business, marketing and other topics as a regular contributor to national publications and brands like Popular Mechanics, Angie’s List, Murphy Oil Soap, Green Living Ideas and USA Insulation. In addition, her experience includes writing business stories for The Content Standard, RichlandSource, and other publications.