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Live at home through building work or move out?

(42 Posts)
Bubbinsmakesthree Sun 14-May-17 11:05:19

We are planning a loft conversion and single storey rear extension to our house - the work will happen whilst I'm on maternity leave with a toddler and a baby.

We were planning on staying in the house and living through the works but our builder is recommending we try to move out (which seems to be motivated by concern for us rather than making his life easier).

I'm torn about what to do. We have three main choices.

1) stay at home and live through the work. My plan was to complete the loft first and use this as our main living area for the duration of the ground floor work, so we can escape the worst of the noise and dust. We'll probably be without a kitchen for at least a month.

2) Throw ourselves at the mercy of friends and relatives during the worst of the work - we could probably do a few weeks staying with others but it'll be living out of a suitcase and a fair bit of travelling round

3) rent somewhere else to live locally for 1-2months, which will probably cost £2k-£5k - costs we could absorb in the overall project cost but still a lot of money.


namechangedtoday15 Sun 14-May-17 11:31:33

We have just done a double storey rear extension and if I could have afforded it, I'd have moved out. And that's with being at work 4 days a week (so only at hone with the builders 1 day) and all 3 children being at school. I think the noise, dust, general dirt and being without maybe electrics one and off / kitchen / water when you are at home all day every day with a toddler and baby would be hard going.

The advantage of living through it was that we were on site and could give answers quickly / see progress and I had a fab relationship with the builders anyway, but if you're local and can pop in most days, that would be OK. I think if you could afford to move out, I'd do it.

Noisygirls Sun 14-May-17 11:40:24

We are coming to the end of a 9 month renovation wiht every room having something done. It's been extremely cold and tough in palaces, but overall no where as bad as I thought it would be. It has taken longer for the builder because they have had to work around us. I think the success of it for us has been trying not to sweat the dust, dirt etc and just go with it, working through the day and fabulous builders who understand life wiht small children (we have 3). If I had been home all day wiht a small baby I'm not sure how I would have coped. Perhaps just having somewhere to hide through the day could work for you (relatives house etc). For us the cost saving as well worth the dust, noise etc. Good luck!

Mermaidinthesea123 Sun 14-May-17 11:42:27

I lived in my house throughout the renovations, it was bloody awful and I didn't have young children at home.
Depends how hardy you are really. It would certainly be cheaper to stay at home, that's what I'd do but have the option of the occasional 4 day holiday with relatives to get away from it all.
The dust gets everywhere.

Hassled Sun 14-May-17 11:47:30

Rent somewhere else. Air B&B might be worth a shot - some of them will do longish-term lets. You can't over-estimate the amount of dust that will be around - it'll be impossible to avoid, and with a new baby that won't be good. Having strangers in your house day in day out for months is stressful - you can never fully relax and just potter around.

LittlePickleHead Sun 14-May-17 12:02:24

We lived through an extension and reconfiguration with 2 small kids. It was SO much worse than I expected. There were points where there was just now escape from the dust and grime. On the days I was at home (working part time) there were occasions where I just had to walk the streets with my son in the buggy to get away from the noise, dust and chaos. Saying that our place was smaller so there wasn't really anywhere to get away from it.

If you can completely separate yourself in the loft then it may be ok. But it is hard going and as a PP said, it may make the whole thing longer so you end up paying more for the build anyway.

Good luck whatever you decide smile

EsmesBees Sun 14-May-17 12:19:48

If you can afford it, I would go for the rental option. The dust gets everywhere, plus it will be noisy which may not be ideal for nap time. We lived elsewhere for most of our renovation, and then moved back for the last bit with a just crawling baby. It was really hard to keep her away from the mess and dangerous bits.

Crumbelina Sun 14-May-17 18:03:04

If you can afford it then go! I'm living through a nightmare at the moment as we're renovating most of the house ourselves (for the past 2.5 years) and have an 18 month old. My maternity leave was mostly ruined and now we're faced with a toddler trying to run around and only 3 finished rooms.

We would have moved out but our mortgage is really expensive and my income on maternity was much lower.

Bubbinsmakesthree Sun 14-May-17 21:17:24

Thanks for sharing your experiences - we can afford it in as much as we have the money, but I am still balking a bit at the idea of paying thousands to move out.

However perhaps I should look at it as being able to more easily spend quality time with the baby and toddler rather than spending my precious maternity leave living in chaos.

Bubbinsmakesthree Sun 14-May-17 21:19:08

Also I worry that building dust, paint fumes etc aren't a healthy environment for small children.

Tatlerer Sun 14-May-17 21:29:49

Bubbins in our last place we lived-in while having the loft converted (and the ceilings lowered), apart from the dust it was fine. No loss of kitchen etc though as no single story extension like you're planning.
We're now going into wk 4 of a major build/renovation which will hopefully take max 6-7 months and have moved out. Best decision ever. As well as rent though, do take into account:
-removal costs (there and back)
-storage costs (if needed)
- two lots of council tax
- length of rental agreement-for less than 6 months you'll be paying through the nose

Good luck, whatever you decide!

Kokusai Sun 14-May-17 21:33:38

On ML so at home all day and with a child at home? Good god I would move out of you can absorb the cost. Or at least plan weeks with friends/grandparents etc.

Kokusai Sun 14-May-17 21:34:26

Also I think it's really better not to be at home to hear when the builder says "oh shit" as their foot goes thru the ceiling etc

LindaBoughtAPeaShooter Sun 14-May-17 21:46:23

We've done both (stayed and moved out). Moving out was better. The dust is unbelievable but for me the worst was having no privacy, no quiet, no break from people and mess ALL the time (and our builders were lovely). That on top of a toddler and baby would be a big no for me.
If you do move out though I would make sure you are local as builders always have lots of questions. Good luck!

PacificDogwod Sun 14-May-17 21:49:59

We moved out and, boy, was I glad we did.

If you can afford it at all, move out.
Managing a toddler and a baby in a building site is stressful, unpleasant and potentially dangerous.

Before we had kids we converted a house while living in it and it was a nightmare, even for 2 adults alone.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Sun 14-May-17 21:52:24

We did huge renovations including a loft conversion (ceilings down etc) when we had a 2 year old, a one year old and I was pregnant. I am
a SAHM and the DCs didn't go to nursery etc bar the 2 year old for 2 afternoons a week.

We are now buying another do-er upper. The DCS are 4,3 and 1. We are moving out. The fact the builders have to leave the front door open all the time drives me loopy in itself.

SwedishEdith Sun 14-May-17 21:53:07

I was at work all day and hated it. Especially hated it if the builder was there when I got home from work (and he was a nice bloke). I would have detested that loss of privacy if I'd been on mat leave.

savagehk Sun 14-May-17 21:57:01

We're moving out during ours although our works are probably a bit more messy/intrusive than yours. We'll be out for 6 months shock
Finding a rental has been a pain though. Turns out our area has high demand at the moment and most reasonable places are wanting 12m lease and the rest are horrible. Plus anything under 6 months doesn't count as a 'normal' tenancy so agents won't go near it.

PacificDogwod Sun 14-May-17 22:09:46

Oh gawd, I am now having flashbacks about having moved back in too early and trying to give DS1 and DS2 breakfast while BFing brand-new DS3 in a kitchen in which the electrician was up a ladder trying to fit our light fittings.

Never again!

Move out, I deplore you, OP grin

johnd2 Sun 14-May-17 22:42:47

Did our in winter, we are young and tough, we have a fairly big house, and the kitchen and bathroom weren't being touched much, but it was not easy, harder than we thought. We wouldn't move out if we went back in time, but it was a tough time and really cold.

dietcokeandwine Mon 15-May-17 00:10:39

We did a major 6m project last year - big 2 storey extension plus every other existing room gutted and redone. 3DC (one with SEN with some noise related sensory issues), 4 pets, I'm a SAHM, youngest DC was only at preschool a couple of mornings a week at the time.

We moved out grin

It definitely made the whole process much more relaxing and enjoyable, I think we'd all have lost the plot if we'd tried to live through it. That said though it's one heck of a lot of money to rent somewhere. If you add in moving costs, double council tax/bills etc, plus monthly cost us the best part of £15k to rent for six months.

I have days when I look back and think 'God, we could have spent that £15k on x,y,z' - but at the end of the day it was soooo the right thing to do for us and I don't regret it for a second.

DramaAlpaca Mon 15-May-17 00:14:02

If you can afford it, move out. You won't regret it.

Pallisers Mon 15-May-17 00:37:54

We just moved back in after 8 months out of our house - major renovation which got even more major as they opened walls and discovered missing beams etc.

I sometimes think of what we could have bought with the rent (new floors for example) but mostly I think that it was the cost of us remaining sane and intact during the renovation. If you have a toddler and a newborn you really don't want to be huddled in one room covered in dust with no kitchen while the building works go on if you can possibly afford otherwise.

But I do suggest you stop by every day and make sure they are working on your house.

spydie Mon 15-May-17 08:46:33

We are living through a single storey extension at the moment, kitchen had to be demolished right at the beginning. Moving out wasn't really an option, we have no family locally and there is no way we could have afforded to rent somewhere in addition to the cost of extension etc.

We are honestly finding it not to bad. We have DD who is 15 months, we are living out of the lounge currently.... fridge freezer in here, washing machine.... the mess is horrendous but from what so read on here I thought the whole living here thing would be a lot worse!

sysysysref Mon 15-May-17 11:48:58

We are just starting a loft extension and remodel of our downstairs plus a new heating system and kitchen and we are moving out next week. I do baulk at the cost of the rental but we looked at staying, we've done it before, but the job is simply too big for us to be here, they need all the floors up to do the pipework and there are so many steels going in to both the loft and the downstairs so we're off. I am dreading packing up our entire house but I do think that once we are out it will make the whole process much more pleasant.

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