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moving into empty temporary accommodation for 3 months.... how to make it bearable?

(23 Posts)
fuckwittery Wed 02-Oct-13 06:45:58

So, we are having building work done, and after stressing about living with it /could we afford to rent somewhere privately, tenants on a house we rent out have just given notice. So we'll be moving into an empty tiny terraced 2 up 2 down (second room tiny!) with our 6 year old, 3 year old and new born!

Thinking we will sleep on blow up mattresses and new born in Moses next to us, not too sure what we will sit on! Would you hire a van and a man and move wardrobes, sofas etc for 3 months or shall we just camp out!

ArabellaBeaumaris Wed 02-Oct-13 06:47:36

I would definitely have a sofa if I had a newborn!

Eastpoint Wed 02-Oct-13 06:49:16

Move your belongings as they will get dusty at your house while the building work is completed. You'll be in over Christmas, make sure you're comfortable.

fuckwittery Wed 02-Oct-13 06:59:58

That's true I completely forgot about the breastfeeding on the sofa thing! All the work is at the back of the house and we should have 2 dust free rooms at the front we can seal off and pile stuff into.... God it's going to b e a nightmare! Why didn't I do this before the baby!

ArabellaBeaumaris Wed 02-Oct-13 07:15:37

I would hire man & van & move some beds, wardrobes, sofa/ armchairs, basic toy storage (big box or something), kitchen table & chairs.

ArabellaBeaumaris Wed 02-Oct-13 08:01:31

We had work down at the back downstairs, granted we could have done more extreme sealing up of rooms - we just closed the doors - but the dust got everywhere. Honestly, it's going to be a pain in the arse moving the contents of your house into those sealed rooms, you might as well make living in the terrace less of a pain in the arse & take some stuff with you.

fuckwittery Wed 02-Oct-13 08:48:39

DH thinks that when I drop DD2 off at preschool I can hang out in the building works house fora few hours with the newborn , feeding on our sofa and doing washing etc, so we can live out of suitcases of a week's worth of clothes at a time. Need to convince him of realistic dust picture!

MotherOfSoupDragon Wed 02-Oct-13 08:51:41

I would definitely make it as comfy as possible and certainly take a sofa. Three months is quite a long time and especially with a newborn you will need to sit well supported whilst feeding.

PrimalLass Wed 02-Oct-13 10:10:43

Plus it might run over and you'll be there longer. It will only take a day and a van to move some furniture. I would move your real mattresses for example, not blow-ups.

specialsubject Wed 02-Oct-13 11:34:50

bring your stuff over. I moved into an empty house (without a baby) and nothing to sit on gets very boring very quickly!

oscarwilde Wed 02-Oct-13 16:33:52

Move your big essential stuff. Definitely beds, sofa and a table. Then if you do have to extend your stay or decide to repaint those two extra rooms, you are not trying to empty a room, just to find winter clothes or something random in the middle of a building site.

Tell DH that if you are expected to feed a baby on a blow up mattress, then the TV goes into storage for 3+ months too grin

Seriously - I had a 3 month building plan. It was 6 months before everyone left. Mains power, water and heating were on and off constantly and it was a freezing Spring. People on MN were still complaining about having the heating on in May. Brrrr. We slept on a sofa bed and DH slipped a disc as a result.
If you hang out in a house open to the elements with a newborn, you will need to slap on the heating which will cost a fortune. I'd agree to a mid morning check in on the house after the school run (you can feed in the car if needs be) and that DH stops off on his way home while you do bed and bathtime for 3 children. That's enough sacrifice for everyone.

fuckwittery Wed 02-Oct-13 17:04:02

Good point about the heating oscarwilde esp as we are doing a winter build! Expecting it may take longer for weather delays too. Slightly tricky as house we'll be living is half an hour away from school/pre school, and dd2 only does til midday, and then I have to be back at 3pm to pick up dd1. So hanging out at build house was really to save toing and froing. Think i am realising that is unrealistic now! May be spending a lot of time in cafes and snoozing/feeding in the car!

noddyholder Wed 02-Oct-13 17:06:37

Set yourself a low budget of a few hundred pounds and buy decent secondhand stuff in local paper that you can re sell at little loss. A sofa and table at the very least.

oscarwilde Wed 02-Oct-13 17:13:08

Plus if you switch off the heating during the winter and leave your mattresses, sofa's etc in your old house, they will get damp.

fuckwittery Wed 02-Oct-13 17:13:39

Dh thinks it will be a nightmare to move our massive wardrobes wondering if i can get away with hanging rail, small chest of drawers for baby stuff, and free standing cheap shelving units.
Fingers crossed i don't end up with another section although I should be 6 weeks post natal by the time we move in.

oscarwilde Wed 02-Oct-13 17:20:20

I've just re-read your post. 30 mins is going to be a pain. I'd set out feed times and drop off times for the older two, plus the commute times. It should become obvious that you are either going to have no time at all beyond a quick check in, after drop off; or at best you will need to keep one room fairly free to sit in between 12 & 3 when DD1 is released for the day. With three kids, you will need to be heading straight home then to give them some dinner before the cluster feeding marathon in the evening.

Assuming it is your kitchen you are doing, then where would you give DD2 lunch?
That's a lot of too'ing and fro'ing/driving with a 6 week old on what is likely to be precious little sleep. Can DD2 go to in-school after school care so you can pick them both up at 3?

Is it committed now? Could you postpone the build until Spring?

soaccidentprone Wed 02-Oct-13 17:27:18

If you are going to seal up some of your rooms you need to make sure they are fully dust proof.

I would do the following;

Take what will make you comfy whilst in your temp property.

The stuff which is left behind - put the stuff in the rooms you are not renovating.

Don't pile the stuff up, you need to give it room to breath and to stop mould and mildew growing.

Make sure everything is perfectly dry.

Set the heating to go on for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening in those rooms, to keep the chill off and damp etc.

Buy some thick plastic sheeting and put over the room doors. Tape round the edges, taping the plastic to the door frame to ensure the rooms are dust proofed.

Speak to your insurance agent to make sure you are still covered.

Take it as an opportunity to declutter as much as possible.

Hope it all goes well for yougrin

soaccidentprone Wed 02-Oct-13 17:33:52

Do you have friends or relatives which live near the school who you could pop in and see, rather than having to spend 3 hours a day traveling?

fuckwittery Wed 02-Oct-13 18:00:10

We're not committed to the build start date yet, but our tenants are moving out on 7 november, hoping to start building in december / early january, depending on builder availability.
If we delay build, we'll need to let out our other house, as can't really afford to have it sit empty for that long then rent somewhere on top. Our kitchen and only bathroom will be out of use so decided we pretty much need to move out. I suppose we could try and get new tenants in for a 6 month contract, then give notice to live there and build in may/june but I'd feel really bad doing that, most people want to stay longer than 6 months plus 2 x agents fees, and if they don't leave bailiffs etc take ages!
We didn't think about living there before as we had really nice reliable tenants, however now they are leaving just as we're getting ready to build it seems a good opportunity, plus it will cost us much less living there than renting through an agent and getting tied into a contract, we have far more flexibility in our own house. We hadn't put the rent up for 4 years so not losing out on so much rent money (only just covers mortgage).

So, will need to leave 8.15, maybe 8 for traffic, thinking toast in the car, drop offs complete by 9am, back at school by 11.50, feed dd2 in cafe maybe, or pack lunch in car, then ummm..... yearly subscription to soft play?! then 3pm pick up no extension to school nursery hours possible except til 1.20 lunch club which doesn't help me much!! I could delay dd2 start in school nursery, due to start those hours in jan but she currently does 2 full days and one half day in pre school, could keep her there but she'll lose place and settling in at school nursery in prep for reception. Nightmare logistics!

fuckwittery Wed 02-Oct-13 18:03:57

Thanks for the seal off tips soaccidentprone really helpful, hadn't thought about damp and piling up stuff etc.
most of my friends have kids at full time school, or probably not that keen for me to have pre schooler messing up their house regularly, although I will try and schedule as many meet ups, coffees, and toddler groups etc as I can!

oscarwilde Thu 03-Oct-13 15:23:43

Did a huge build / house renovation and "lived" on site in two rooms during it with our 2 yr old. It wasn't a lot of fun and we didn't touch the kitchen. We should have moved out, it would have given the builders the opportunity to just crack on. We did arrange to borrow the house of a neighbour who was out all day at work for the toddler to have somewhere quiet and clean to eat lunch and have a nap, during the worst of it all. Any close friends who live near the school?

7th November is only a month away - do you have / need planning permission? I'm no builder but drying out cement for the foundations might take longer in Dec/Jan? I'd have a chat to a builder or a surveyor before making a definite decision. PigletJohn often seems to respond to questions in this forum on the more technical aspects.

I would have thought that the ideal time to do it would be from when the baby is 3-6 months - before you start spending hours spoonfeeding purees into them smile

Just in case the build programme drags on, make sure you have clearly labelled up the boxes of hand-me-downs for the 3-6month bracket so you don't have to ransack the storerooms.

fuckwittery Thu 03-Oct-13 19:34:31

Oscar, I think you might be exactly right with the timescale, do it when the baby is 3-6 months, not a newborn but I definitely want to be back in my house with the new kitchen by weaning time!
We've got planning permission and our architect is just doing the building regs and then tendering for the work (the architects are project managing). Tenants are moving out on 7 nov but probably won't be ready to start work then. We think 3-4 month build time, but may well not start til the new year. It looks like they'll be able knock a couple of weeks off the build time if we are out the house and they have free range. Good plan about getting the 3-6 months clothes out! It does mean our current rented out house will be empty / no rent coming in for a good while though, got to go through some figures now!
Will start offering a lot of playdates/ favours now to call in when I need a house to sit in.... Cant think of anyone close enough to call in such a favour as using their house every day though....

oscarwilde Fri 04-Oct-13 15:48:03

It was a big ask - our build was Spring through summer though. I think asking someone out at work during the day to keep the heating on all day for you is a v big ask. Lunch club for your 3 yr old would make a big difference though I think, plus it gives you a bit more flexibility with the baby for feeding and checking in with the builders.
If you haven't gotten a builder lined up and ready to start yet, it might be worth advertising the house for rent on a short 6 month let. If someone snaps it up and looks like a very safe bet, then you'll be weaning in the small house, but at least you won't be managing a build and hopefully semi deranged from lack of sleep by then. Plus better weather makes life a lot easier managing the older children in a smaller house. (drying clothes etc etc)
It also gives you 6 months to save some more cash, add to the scope yadda yadda.

Lots of people try to buy houses in the Spring. I don't obviously know where you live but a short term let is really helpful for lots of people and they are really hard to find as landlords dont want the hassle.

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