Several Factors Play into Whether to Move or Stay During a Project

by Stephen Gidus
Reprinted from The Orlando Sentinel Ask the remodeler, June 28, 1997

Homeowners typically put effort into remodeling details such as architectural drawings, choosing the remodeler and selecting the finishes. One critical consideration they may need to discuss with their remodeler and factor into the cost of their renovation is finding a temporary residence during the course of the project.

Any type of remodeling affects those living in the home in one way or another. Some projects, however, will have a greater affect on a family’s lifestyle, and disrupt normal activities for weeks and even months. While it is not necessary to move out in every case, homeowners should bear in mind the scope of the project they are taking on and the expected length of time it will take. The unforeseen stress and inconveniences may make it worthwhile and necessary to find temporary living quarters for the duration of the project.

Some of the more common types of remodeling projects requested by homeowners are kitchen and bathroom renovations, master bedroom suites, and room additions, such as your project. Renovations and additions involving one room generally can be sealed off from other sections of the home, creating minimal disruption.

Some additions include renovating large portions of the existing living areas or, adding a whole new section to the second floor. Adding a second story to an existing home is one of the most disruptive types of remodeling procedures. In some cases, construction on a second story addition actually dissects the home, forcing the homeowners to walk through the construction area to get from one part of the house to the other. In most cases, the first floor area directly below the second story addition needs to be vacated for remodeling purposes. Having to live under these conditions is not only stressful, but tracks dust and dirt into the living areas. Parts of the house must be closed off, limiting the living space to a smaller area of the home.

Interrupting existing living space can be inconvenient and stressful, particularly because second-story additions as well as other types of large projects, can take several months to complete. While special precautions may be taken to limit the amount of dust and dirt that escapes from the construction area into the living spaces, there is still no guaranteed method of keeping the living areas completely dust free during remodeling.

Probably the most critical point to consider is the emotional effect a remodeling project will have on your family. Past experience shows that most clients living within large scale projects begin to feel the emotional stress of living amidst the construction after about six weeks. If a project will take longer to complete the homeowners may want to consider temporarily moving into a rental property or in with family or friends. After a stressful day at work or school, family members look forward to coming home to relax. This becomes a great challenge when the house is dismantled and the family is forced to live in temporary quarters within the house.

Homeowners should carefully analyze the needs of each family member during the remodeling project by taking into consideration the scope of the project and living areas affected. By taking these issues into consideration and discussing them thoroughly with the remodeler to determine an acceptable plan, the homeowner can better withstand the effects the construction has on the family and keep inconveniences to a minimum.