The plans and budgets are set, the materials and appliances have been ordered, and the required permits are in place. D-Day (or Demolition Day) is fast approaching. What should you do to prepare for the huge disruption it will cause? This article will cover major renovations where you’ve decided to move out for a while to give your reno crew some much-needed breathing room.
If you’re only at the early planning stage, read our six-chapter Home Renovation Survival Guide – especially this chapter called 10 things to expect during your renovation.
Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
The first decision is whether to stay in the house or move out for a while. While there is no hard and fast rule, the scale of the renovation will determine if you can stay put or if you should move out. You should plan to move out if it’s a large-scale reno that includes your kitchen and most of your bathrooms since you won’t have plumbing needed to do basic food preparation and cleanup.
If it’s just a kitchen makeover, you could stay put but you likely won’t be able to use your fridge, stove, sink or dishwasher. You will need to find another space in your home to do all the regular kitchen chores. Maybe that means moving your microwave to the basement or washing your dishes in the bathtub – whatever works for you! But you’ll need to designate zones for cooking and cleaning up or else things may get ugly. On the plus side, you can plan on dining out a lot more!
If you’re replacing the floors or sanding and refinishing them, everything in that room or that entire floor must be moved out. Don’t underestimate the time and effort it takes to vacate an entire floor and find places to store everything temporarily.
If you’re knocking down walls, drywall dust will be everywhere. To limit the dust in rooms not being renovated, seal off those rooms with a zippered clear plastic sheet that’s adhered to the top of the doorway with duct tape.
If you have a forced air HVAC system, seal both supply and return air vents in those rooms. But beware, those rooms won’t get any forced air so they’ll get very cold in winter or hot and humid in summer. A small space heater or portable air conditioner can make the room more comfortable.
Major Renovation Tips
Moving Out May Be Faster & Cheaper
By moving out, progress may be faster since the reno crew does not have to be overly concerned about cleaning up their mess during and at the end of each day. They can focus on the work at hand and they don’t have to worry about the safety and comfort of family members. It’s especially hard to work with children about, who dislike chaos or loud noises and may get hurt by debris.
While it costs money to rent an apartment, some contractors charge more for renos if clients stay put in their home throughout the reno. They know there will be additional costs in daily cleanup, time-consuming conversations with homeowners every day, and there may be an expensive rush on certain types of work to minimize outages of plumbing and electricity.
Purge Before Packing
Whether you decide to move out or stay put, take the opportunity to purge before you start packing up. Otherwise, you’re simply moving a lot of unwanted junk out and back inside! There are many bloggers who focus on decluttering, such as this one who suggests purging room-by-room. Also, this humorous article is about moving homes, but the same step-by-step approach applies to vacating an entire floor for a renovation.
Consider hiring a ‘decluttering coach’ to help you purge and pack. They can work with you side-by side to confront the many decisions that must be made. They can also encourage you and help you overcome the inertia that comes with parting with unnecessary keepsakes. Of course, if you’re not emotionally attached to your stuff and just want to make it go away, contact a junk removal company.
Choosing A Place For Storage
Where will it all go? The contents from one floor can be moved to other floors or into the garage. If you need more space, consider renting a portable storage container for your front driveway. Two popular options are Pods – which come in three different sizes – and Cubeit, which allow you to store the container on your property or at their secure facilities.
Finding A Place To Stay
Close friends may offer you a spare bedroom, but actually living together can strain a friendship. Moving in with family is a bit better – your siblings or in-laws will hopefully still love you after you’ve moved back home!
Better yet, don’t impose on either friends or family. Instead, book a few weeks at an extended stay hotel, which offers larger kitchens and living rooms. Or rent a small home or apartment, which are available on rental sites like Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway or Flipkey, but read this helpful comparison article first.
Don’t Forget To Secure Your Home
Tradespeople moving in and out of your home makes it more vulnerable to theft – not from your renovation team, but from opportunists who notice the activity of people coming and going all day. Consider installing a keypad lock on your front door to give your reno team access to your home during the work and then reset it when the job is done. Move any valuable small items like jewellery into a locked cabinet or offsite into a safety deposit box.
Featured image courtesy of perthhdproductions.