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To think we can stay in home for extension work / timeframe

27 replies

Isthismadnessisit · 30/09/2018 16:40

Having a disagreement with my DH who is insisting that a 2 storey extension to our small 2 bed terrace will take 6 months and require the entire family to move out. I believe it will take 3 months MAX with decent builders and we will just muddle through. We have nowhere to go anyway! He thinks I am being unreasonable and over optimistic so I guess I am hoping others can share their experiences if they've done similar work and I am perpared to accept I'm being unreasonable / naive as we have never done this before! Thanks!

OP posts:
prettygreywalls · 30/09/2018 17:42

Depends on what work you are doing and how much work is going to affect the part that exists ? For example a loft conversion can usually be done from the outside with a knock through in later stages and not much disruption,

On the other hand lots of rewiring , plumbing , removing outside walls to tie in new outer walls and plastering requires a bit more interruption to the existing building ,

If you are skimming walls and redecorating , taking up floors or bits of floors for plumbing , rewiring etc it really can be messy and disruptive ,

A three month time scale sounds great but very rare , things often get held up through no fault of any party , I think accept 6 moths as more realistic and hope it will be quicker

As to living in it , it's up to you and finances , I've done both, it's messy and hard work but doable but to be fair without children to worry about

Isthismadnessisit · 30/09/2018 17:59

Thank you very much. Maybe i am being unreasonable then. We are extending off the back of the house into the garden to create new kitchen on ground floor and bedroom on first floor, 2 storey extension. So we won't have a kitchen- I plan to use slow cooker and plug in small fridge in the lounge area, not ideal I know but doable. We have no family and to rent for 3 months will cost a fortune, we couldn't afford it on top of our mortgage / costs of extension. I think DH is just having a wobble and I know it will be fine but maybe i need to be more realistic with timescales! Thanks again

OP posts:
Magair · 30/09/2018 18:02

How old are your kids?

Jjacobb · 30/09/2018 18:04

We've just completed a single extension plus complete gutting and refitting of our kitchen. We stayed ( family of seven). It took 6 months. Luckily I could move fridge, microwave and slow cooker to the dining room and made a small kitchen area. We ate out a lot and at home used paper plates, cups and crockery when we couldn't wash up.
It is doable if you're not too fussy and prepared to slum it a bit.

DontDribbleOnTheCarpet · 30/09/2018 18:05

My husband is a retired builder, and he always says that not having the owners in residence speeds up the work. Time is often lost working around the owners, or creating safe areas for them during plumbing or wiring work.

prettygreywalls · 30/09/2018 18:06

He he good luck , slow cooker sounds great , I lived on bought sandwiches and bbq !
Can you start early spring rather than through the winter ? Less mud trodden in and cold drafts , also you can bbq a bit , or make a kitchen in a garden shed ( get one of those tabletop cookers with mini oven and 2 hot plates ) also a soup maker was amazing and didn't take up much space , my hardest bit was preparing and washing up so tended towards ready made as just easier in the long run

SputnikBear · 30/09/2018 18:07

Our renovations took two years and we lived in our home the whole time. We couldn’t afford to live anywhere else! At times we washed up in the bath. Or we got washed in a plastic dish because we had no bath. You find ways to manage if you have no other choice. Not everyone has the luxury of affording to move out.

Isthismadnessisit · 30/09/2018 18:07

Thank you! Kids are 4. In an ideal world we would move out but to rent a 2 bed flat nearby would be in excess of 1500pcm not including all the fees and bills, we just can't afford that on top of mortgage and the cost of all the work. We don't mind slumming it at all, it's time limited after all. Thanks for the replies everyone

OP posts:
Isthismadnessisit · 30/09/2018 18:10

Great suggestions re bbq, we love a good bbq! And paper plates! We plan to start in the spring and hope for good weather. I can't wait as we are bursting at the seams and this will give us more space - we've saved 4 years to do it so will be great when its done!

OP posts:
BackInTime · 30/09/2018 18:10

I think 6 months is more realistic. It might be ok to live there for some of this time while they do outside work but but it depends how much intrusion there is going to be in the existing part of the house. Will there be walls knocked through? If so this can mean the house might be unsafe and the dust and mess is just horrible. Will there be plumbing and electrical work? If so this can mean being without water, bathroom facilities, heating and power.

It also depends on your circumstances and and how old your DC are.

bigbluebus · 30/09/2018 18:11

We had a 2 storey side extension which took 3 months to complete. We lived there for the entire time but went on holiday for a week at the time they needed to knock through. That suited both parties.
I do think we were lucky with our builder though. Have recently noticed extensions going onto other houses locally that are taking far longer (not the builder we used though).

Notacluewhatthisis · 30/09/2018 18:16

OP, my dbro and sil just had similar work done. They thought like you. Slow cooker and fridge will be fine, work done quick etc.

They were wrong and ended up moving into my parents and the work took a month longer than expected.

I think yabu.

MrsBlondie · 30/09/2018 18:19

We had a single storey extension this year and lived in. No kitchen for months. 2 kids age 5 and 11. Wasnt much fun at times but we had nowhere ti go.
Now its done all the mess and hassle is forgotten and wirth it

bitmynailbrokemytooth · 30/09/2018 18:26

We did this, OP. We had a two storey 6 metre x 4 metre extension at the back , and extended slightly at the front at the same time. We also took the opportunity to replace all the circa 1980 Artex ceilings and install a new lighting scheme and new radiators in all rooms, because they had all gone rusty. This meant there was work going on throughout the house and extension.

The work took six months. Our builders were building a village hall at the same time as they were working on our project.

DH and I slept in our caravan on the drive for six months, including one winter. This was OK unless we had forgotten to turn the caravan heater on one hour before going to bed. We had no bedroom in the house until the builders knocked through into the extension. The children slept in the house, as at first their bedrooms were unaffected. At the time they were aged 12 and 15. They had no parent in the house overnight for six months, but we were just outside.

It is all about the timing, too. DD's old bedroom was converted into the family bathroom, so obviously her new bedroom needed to be built beforehand so she would have somewhere to sleep ( although there would've been room in the caravan ). DS had to move into the spare room for a while so his room could have new ceiling, and radiator. We got through it fine, but if you have very young children there may be too many hazards during the works ( e.g. missing areas of floor with narrow pathway among exposed floor joists etc)

To sum up, I think it may take nearer to six months, as your DH says. You could still live in the house, but that depends on you all being flexible and keeping a great sense of humour. You won't believe the mess, disruption and DUST ! Oh the dust, everywhere. It will be worth it when it's done. I wish you a smooth time, no hitches and Good Luck.

Fluffymullet · 30/09/2018 18:26

We did a similar extension with 3 month time frame quoted. The physical frame of it was built in 3 months but it took probably honestly 8 months by the time everything including decorating complete. It was very very cold when it was being built and as a result the house was freezing before the flooring/Windows/insulation got put in.

During the outside building it's doable to live in, especially if the kids are at school during the day.

The messy bit is when they knock through and living without a kitchen is very hard, even with a slow cooker. I would move out/go on holiday if you are able for the really dusty/dirty bits. It's not just good preparation, it's your laundry, washing up after eating and storing all your kitchen stuff. You end up with a living room filled with junk. Plus goodness knows what you are inhaling when they are knocking down old walls. You could manage im.sure but it would be a miserable existence and prolong the project. Good luck

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett · 30/09/2018 18:31

We stayed at home during an extension, new kitchen but only one storey. I think it's perfectly do-able - we only had no kitchen at all for four weeks and managed off a dining table in the living room, using a microwave. Washing dishes was a total PITA though, as was laundry.

Our layout did lend itself to being able to block the work area off though. Are your kids in school? I think trying to find stuff to do out of the house with two little ones (so they're out of the way) might end up being as expensive as moving out! As well as being super-stressful. But if they're in school most of the time, it will be fine.

It will be longer than 3 months though.

MereDintofPandiculation · 30/09/2018 18:36

So we won't have a kitchen- I plan to use slow cooker and plug in small fridge in the lounge area, not ideal I know but doable. I lived 2.5 years with no kitchen. Electric frying pan, small (1 pan) hob and slow cooker. Electric frying pan was great - you could roast a chicken in it. The tedious bit was the washing up, not the actual washing up in the bathroom, it was having dirty crockery waiting on the bathroom floor.

If you know it's likely to be 6 months, it's worth spending a little to make life more comfortable in that time, make sure you have a dedicated kitchen area in your living room. And you'll need to sort out where you'll run the washing machine.

Zintox · 30/09/2018 18:36

Ours took 5 months but involved refurbing the rest of the house and moving the kitchen. We stayed in for all but 2 weeks. It was dirty and miserable and I got I’ll drom the dust, and our cat died. If we could have afforded to I’d have moved out.

Zintox · 30/09/2018 18:36

*ill from

SeaToSki · 30/09/2018 18:37

I think you could probably muddle through staying there, but it will be tough. You should plan on it taking longer though. One thing that makes it more likely to stay on track is if you have everything picked out before you start. And I mean everything (get the builder to give you a comprehensive list). Then also choose stuff that is in stock, so there is not 4 week delay because the tiles have been back ordered. Then you need to choose a builder who is big enough that the sub contractors won't give them the run around because they won't want to fall out of favour with someone who can give them a lot of work.

MrsStrowman · 30/09/2018 18:37

Could you get a small caravan? Park it on the drive, use the kitchen facilities, sell it after, shouldn't lose much if any money.

wonkylegs · 30/09/2018 18:44

It will be quicker if you move out but can be done with you in.
It will be quicker if you decide everything before you start and stick to what you chose in the first place (biggest time delays on my jobs, I'm an architect, are complicated fancy glazing and clients constantly changing their minds)!
It's hard being on site and not meddling - I have recently had an issue with a client doing this. I have no problem with changes but they didn't get that this will have an impact on time and budget.
Make sure you have a contingency both financially and in terms of time.
Small house means you have less room to escape don't underestimate the need to escape.
It will depend on the builder but I would expect 4-5months if it's fairly simple.


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Doubletrouble99 · 30/09/2018 18:46

I was going to say that MrsStrowman. Do you have any outside space to put a caravan on? Then you could keep nice and toasty and have water and a loo/ shower. Keeping out of all the dust will also be a big problem. I don't think people realise just how much there is and how it affects how you cope. If the builders don't have to build round you they will get on so much quicker. Some builders may not quote if you say you want to live in the house as they build.

needsahouseboy · 30/09/2018 18:57

I've just had a loft conversion on my bungalow. It has been difficult to say the least. All rooms bar one were affected due to steals going in. The door to my DS room still has to be put on because I ordered the wrong size and despite paying £45 delivery the right size still has not turned up yet. Luckily my son is staying at my mums during the week as we are living out of my bedroom while I paint everywhere and wait for carpets to be put down.
The is a lot of and so, so much dust which might irritate your childrens' lungs as they are small. All the main building work was finished about 2 weeks go and dust is still settling on everything. It is really horrible to live in and there is also a lot of stuff everywhere when the actual building work is going on. Not sure how safe it would be for small kids, mine is 8 and he's mainly been stuck in front of the kindle most Sundays while I try and paint etc. There is nowhere for him to get toys out due to furniture being moved about etc.
I would have a very good chat with the builders prior to work commencing about what needs to be moved from each room. I did not do this and was also ill prepared due to it being summer and having lots of things booked and working full time. Are there going to be steals going through into other rooms? which means you would need to move stuff around in those. Where are the new doors going? will they need to take flooring up to get wiring/plumbing to the extension? I'd make them walk around with you, telling you what will happen in each room. I didn't do this and really wish I had.
Luckily for 3 weeks of it I could go live in a tent.
If I was you I'd look at buying a cheap caravan and putting it on your drive if you have one. It won't be as simple as you think and I would definitely say 6 months until all finished.

needsahouseboy · 30/09/2018 18:59

Forgive the typos!

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