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Can you tell me about living In while renovating a house with kids?

(11 Posts)
Honesttodog Fri 08-Jan-16 10:39:39

New bathrooms, laundry, electrics, plumbing, some windows... We are hoping that we can live on the top floor of the house while we do work to the middle floor. Can you tell me about the practicalities of living in while renovations are being done? How do you manage kids suppers and homework? I am planning to get a slow cooker but wonder if the reality is that you just end up eating out a lot ... Did you chat to friends and neighbours about having the odd supper with them? Alternatively I've also been looking on Airbnb to see if we could do a few weeks in A house so the builders can really get on. We are still waiting for quotes but I'm keen to hear how it's been for other people

HeadDreamer Fri 08-Jan-16 10:42:02

Don't know about the others, but windows are near 0 impact. We have just had all our windows changed. I gave the keys to the guys. It took them a week but it's only one window at a time. They don't leave much mess.

I would imagine bathroom and laundry won't be much of a problem, if you have amore than one bathroom. Plumbing would depend on what are you actualy doing.

I have a 4 and a 1 yo.

Wassat Fri 08-Jan-16 10:58:47

We are! We have a 30s house which WILL be beautiful, but needed rewiring, new kitchen, still needs new bathroom, new windows and complete redecoration, to be honest, I would think very carefully about taking something like this on. I know our house will be fantastic, but it's quite depressing to come home every day to a building site. We moved out for the rewiring , which I would heartily recommend- I had no idea how messy and disruptive this would be. The rest of the work is ok, but it is a Lot of upheaval when you need something like a room re plastering, and you have to completely empty it and move into another room while the work is being done. We are doing a lot of the work ourselves, due to budget. I think if you could afford to hire builders etc to do all the jobs and you had somewhere else you could go things would probably be a lot easier smile having said that, it is amazing how adaptable you can be- I did the washing up in the downstairs loo for about a month whilst the kitchen was being constructed (dh decided it would be a good idea to rip the old kitchen before the new one had even been ordered confused) I have a 5, 3 and 1 year old .

mrsmortis Fri 08-Jan-16 11:20:35

I moved into a house with an 18 month old that needed complete renovation (back to the brick in the kitchen and bathrooms, skimming everywhere else, new windows, insulation, etc). We're also doing most of the work ourselves and because we can only do it room at a time as we have the money it's still under way 5 years later and my youngest was born at home! We had the wiring done before we moved in. Apart from that the biggest issue was asbestos removal which involved taking down ceilings. I took the girls on holiday for a week while that was done. Everything else we have lived through. The new kitchen meant camping in the dining room for a couple of months (cooking with a microwave, slow cooker and BBQ and washing up in the bathroom (which meant having to clear crockery out of the bath if you wanted a shower because there wasn't anywhere else to put it to dry)). The dining room also served as the living room for a long stretch of our early days in the house because the living room was our workshop/storage room. We have moved bedrooms several times as we work our way around the upstairs. The new bathroom meant taking showers at the in laws for a couple of weeks.

Basically, it's doable. It'll be slower than doing it all before you move in. But you can do it. I can also help with ideas for catering without a kitchen if you need them...

RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Fri 08-Jan-16 13:09:42

We did it with a slightly older DS (had just had his 8th B/day when we moved in) and initially we camped out on the top floor - but we were lucky in that the house had previously been four flats so there were additional kitchens/bathrooms etc which was bloody fortunate as the downstairs was so delapidated and filthy it was uninhabitable and we gradually moved around the house till work was complete. DS was old enough to find it huge fun and loved hindering helping! I should add that we did a lot of the work ourselves and it took in excess of three years shock

More recently (DS now grown up) we did another large project that meant we were without hot water/heating for six months and had to keep warm with only a woodburner/fill the bath with dozens of kettles/pots boiling water - now that I wouldn't have attempted with young DC!

MiaowTheCat Fri 08-Jan-16 18:47:58

We've done some of it - although I did go away with the kids when walls were being knocked down, and the kitchen is happening in a couple of weeks (and I'm dreading it).

toodarnhilly Fri 08-Jan-16 19:45:29

We're at the start of something like this...moved into ours three weeks ago with a 3 and 1 yo. Like mrsmortis we had the rewire done before we moved in but plan to be here for most of the rest. I will probably aim to be out for a day or two when anything involvig plastee dust happens as i hate that (did a back to brick new bathroom in precious house)
But for one or two nights I figure I can visit a friend with the kids.

Interested in catering without kitchen tips as the cooker which came with house broke as soon as we moved in so currently using slow cooker, camping stove and microwave. Good practice for when we get kitchen done in a few years....

toodarnhilly Fri 08-Jan-16 19:46:10

Apologies I meant "plaster dust happens"

Cressandra Fri 08-Jan-16 20:22:19

we were DIYing which is v different to having builders in I imagine, and we could limit it to one room at a time plus tools and paint pots all over the house

Kitchen fitting we found surprisingly fine. DH assembled the carcasses beforehand. We moved a few wall cupboards into the dining room, stood them on floor or dining table and used them to store pasta etc and basic crockery. Having a galley style kitchen helped as DH could treat each side as a separate project. We were hardly without a cooker, it was more that we didn't have time or space for complex meal prep or storing long lists of ingredients, so pasta, pizza and jacket pots were good and I don't think a slow cooker would have helped us that much.

The hardest thing is trying to work in the evenings and weekends when you're both tired from your day jobs and child wrangling. We tended to do one person took the kids and the other DIYed. Neither of you gets a rest. For some of it, I was on mat leave so having me do the work and DH look after the kids felt closer to a break than the other way round.

I agree with the PP, windows are quick and easy.

Having less stuff makes decamping from room to room easier, so I would seriously consider putting nonessentials into storage.

One of the toughest things with small children, we found, was going to DIY stores and making decisions, choosing fittings. I find child wrangling and decision making in shops practically impossible to do together. I've yet to find an answer to that one - you can't choose everything online. One particular tile shop won a particular place in my heart: it had a lego table...

tittysprinkles Fri 08-Jan-16 22:45:39

It's dusty, dirty and will probably get done a whole lot quicker if you're not living in it. If you have the cash to get all the work done now and afford to live out for a few weeks then do it.

owenj Wed 05-Oct-16 13:02:17

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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