22 December 2021

10 Top Tips For How to Live in Your House During a Home Renovation

There are many advantages to living on site whilst having your home remodelled, saving money on renting is the main reason that most people choose to do this. Not only that but being on hand for builders’ queries and on-site lines of communication are important factors in a home renovation going smoothly. Being at such close quarters to the ongoing work means that you can keep a close eye on proceedings, plus the satisfaction of being up close and personal with any progress made is a highly rewarding feeling, one which will play a key part in keeping you going when times get tough.

It is crucial, however, to know exactly what to expect and to appreciate what a potentially difficult undertaking it will be, particularly if there is the added fun of having children around.

Here are our ten top tips on surviving living on site through a home renovation:

  1. Accept that your routine will change.

    Creatures of habit be warned! Those tranquil early morning routines, coffee and the newspaper, smoothie and a long languid scroll on your phone, a spot of early morning meditation or yoga in the living room? Gone. Not forever but for the foreseeable future. These glorious, soul food starts to your day may have to be adapted. Utilise your favourite coffee shop, sign up for temporary classes, exercise in the park, for example. All these things will help you keep a sense of normality when things around you are anything but normal.

  2. Try and plan your home renovation project for the summer months.

    This will not only facilitate temporary outdoor exercise space (should you need it), but with tradespeople coming and going all day long you are likely to feel the chill. Also, if you’re changing windows and doors, you are likely to have big, gaping holes where they should be, so the warmer it is outside, the better. You don’t want to run the risk of depleting any of the cash you’ve managed to save by not renting when your utility bill arrives either.

    Planning for the summer months means that salads and BBQs are an easy option should you be kitchen-less too.

  3. A good night’s sleep and lazy lie-ins may also be things of the past, for now.

    Builders arriving at all hours, digging, hammering and drilling do not make lie-ins near impossible! Probably best to be productive with all those early starts. It’s unlikely that you will have had a decent night’s sleep either. Missing doors, walls, windows and heating are not conducive to a good night’s sleep, and neither is the anxiety over building schedules, paint colours and decor decisions. Our advice, try to manifest dreams about your beautiful new home 😉 Hopefully this will see you through.

  4. Lower your expectations of domestic cleanliness.

    There will be dust, dust and more dust and no amount of wiping, dusting or vacuuming will make a difference. If you are knocking through, a good idea is to make sure you keep all other doors shut and use plastic sheeting to close off different areas. This should help, a little anyway!

  5. If there are kids in the mix then you will need eyes in the back of your head.

    Everything is a potential playground. Heavy machinery, unstable structures, piles of rubble, discarded fittings. If you can, have one child-safe room that the kids can play in and set some very stringent rules about no-go ares.

  6. Be obsessive about planning.

    Treat yourself to a shiny new wall planner. If you are living on site, you will effectively be project managing so try to be on top of your game where deliveries, payment plans, and timetables are concerned. Aim to have to have a structured yet flexible timeline. Your brain will also thank you for giving yourself a sense of control amidst the chaos.

  7. Have a decent kitchen strategy.

    Become the master of the camping stove, be a microwave maestro. You’re bound to become an expert at feeding the family with very little equipment. Stock up on cans and non-perishable items. Be prepared to cart the dishes upstairs to bathroom for a wash or outside for a hose down. Paper plates and disposable cutlery are a must and try not to blow the budget on Deliveroo.

  8. Expect and accept delays and hiccups.

    It is guaranteed that not everything will go to plan. Try not to add to the chaos by losing your marbles if something is thrown off schedule. Hang in there, make sure you have good lines of communication with your renovation tradespeople so that you can come up with cohesive contingency plans and have faith that you will get there in the end.

  9. It will be an emotional rollercoaster.

    It will be tough living with a house full of strangers and a constant flow of human traffic. You will have decisions to make that will have a lasting impact on how your dream house turns out. Add to that the possibility of fraught relationships with your loved ones and it could end up being one of the toughest challenges you have ever faced. Everybody handles stress differently but rest assured that your home renovation contractors are professionals and know exactly what they are supposed to be doing and it will all be ok in the end. Be kind to yourself and take a time-outs if you need them. Allow yourself to be ok with feeling stressed and tired, it’s all part of the process.

  10. The journey from start to end.

    Trust us when we say that each milestone will bring you such joy and satisfaction and it is this that will keep you going. After months of temperamental weather, stress, frayed emotions, logistical nightmares and disrupted routines, the day will come when you are able to sit back in the space you have created and process all that you’ve achieved. You will feel an extraordinary sense of pride. You finally have your dream home and there is no better feeling than this!