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Property/DIY

What would you do?

18 replies

LoveAngelGabriel · 03/12/2007 12:04

Bear with me, as this could be long winded, but could ^really& do with an outside opinion:

In October we moved into our new house. I love it - love the house, love the area. However, it needs complete renovation/redecoration.

Since we moved in, we've had the whole house rewired and a new boiler/ radiators / heating system installed. We are currently having a new upstairs bathroom put in (big job, involving knocking down a wall and rebuilding a doorway) and our downstairs loo will be put in next week. The plan in the new year is to have our builders redecorate our bedroom and the back reception room (stripping wallpaper, repainting, ripping out old fireplace san putting in new ones, sanding and varnishing wooden floors, making windows good...). Then at end of Jan/early Feb we are having an extension out on to our kitchen and a whole new kitchen done. After that's done, some time in late spring, we'll have the remaining 3 bedrooms and up and downstairs halls done up. We want to do it all back-to-back, as we are the sort of people who will never get round to it unless we plough ahead now, while we have the money.

Ok, here's the dilemma. We planned on living in the house while it was being done (me, my husband, our almost 3 yr old son). So far, we have just about managed, but it has been hard - dusty, building work going on 8am-6pm five days a week, unsafe in all but one room for my son to play. Stressful for me, as I'm at home most days with my son. The rest of the work will probably take us up to summer 2008. So do we move out, into a rented flat nearby perhaps, while it's finished? Or do we stay here and take the utter disorganisation and headache of living on a building site? I have treasury deposit which yields good monthly interest - enough to pay about half or more of the rent on a flat. What should we do? What would you do? I don;'t know whether I'm mad for even considering staying here while the work is done..or being a primadonna for thinking of renting somewhere else, which we could stretch to financially, but only just.

OP posts:
LoveAngelGabriel · 03/12/2007 12:05

sorry about typos

OP posts:
mumblechum · 03/12/2007 12:07

I'd move out. I hate having builders in, you can't really relax as they're forever traipsing in and out, making noise etc.

I would however visit every day at different times to make sure they're not slacking off.

sandcastles · 03/12/2007 12:09

I would hate having my life disrupted like that, for so long, so would prefer to not be there.

I guess you have to weigh up the cost of renting another place & also I would think about the safety factor too, as 3 yr olds can be very adventurous when they want to be.

Not much help, sorry!

themoon66 · 03/12/2007 12:10

I wouldn't waste money on rental... you never know what can happen when renovating old houses. You may need that money.

NorthernLurkerwithastarontop · 03/12/2007 12:15

stay put and stick it out - spend your cash on good days out for you and ds and the odd night in a hotel for the really bad bits - holes in walls, no water etc

MuffinMclay · 03/12/2007 13:20

I'd stay, and have odd nights in hotels or with relatives when things are at their worst. Plus take holidays, long weekends etc, in this period.

noddyholder · 03/12/2007 18:03

I would move out if you can afford although we renovated 8 houses with ds between the ages of 4 and 13! It was a pain at times but he took it in his stride and I have always loved knocking down walls etc and donm't mind the chaos.It is surprising how quickly you forget the nightmare when the house is all lovely.If you don't move out you could spend the money on a lovely holiday

ska · 03/12/2007 18:09

having done something similar i woulld move out BUT beware as the work may take longer than you planned and then you will have to spend more. maybe compromise on hotel for occasional nights of peace?

WestCountryLass · 03/12/2007 22:07

I would try and live through it and maybe take some holidays when the kitchen or heating etc was offline.

lalalonglegs · 04/12/2007 12:19

Move, move, move. Builders will be able to get on much quicker if you are not there - if you live somewhere with a lot of holiday rental places (West Country/Yorkshire Moors or some such) you might be able to stay somewhere for a song during next few months.

I've renovated several places and although children love the chaos, if we had been restricted to just one room, then I couldn't have coped.

claricebeansmum · 04/12/2007 12:23

Move out. We moved out for 6 months whilst our house was gutted and then moved back - however the builders stayed for another 2 months and although they were lovely and tidy and considerate it was hideous! They get everywhere - like dust. And they always want to be in the room you are in - just as you want a shower they want to finish the tiling, so you go to the kitchen just as the man needs to sort the gas .... it goes on and on!

mylittleponey · 04/12/2007 12:27

get all the work done at once & move out for the worst of it.

TheBlonde · 04/12/2007 12:53

I'd stay put, it sounds like the worst is out of the way bar the extension

yomellamoHelly · 04/12/2007 12:58

In the summer we moved out so the house could be rewired and replastered. It was all done in a month - much quicker than if we'd stayed put and none of our stuff got trashed (well apart from doors and cupboard doors and the vinyl and laminate flooring that is!). But the mess afterwards was just incredible. It took me a couple of weeks to get rid of the worst of it and no-one who saw the place that first day could quite believe we were moving back in. (But if we'd stayed in rented accommodation (apart from the cost) it would have taken me a lot longer (ds1 was 3 1/2 and ds 2 6 months)). I was here once or twice every day to chivvy them along and solve problems/answer queries as they arose.
We then had a carpenter in for four weeks after we'd moved back in doing all sorts of bits and bobs. It was definitely slower than if he'd been able to get his stuff out and leave it ready for the next day and the day after etc. But being around all the time meant that I got exactly the job I wanted though. (I have a few niggles with the wiring/plastering.) The dust was everywhere and it was noisy at times but I did feel that with us there he respected the fact that it was also our home (if that makes sense). There was still a huge amount of cleaning required on an almost daily basis.

If I were in your situation I'd rent somewhere close by and do the kitchen and bathroom and downstairs toilet at the same time. Then I'd get a firm to do a builders clean and move back in. Then I'd get the rooms sorted while living there with a cleaner for the period of time you've got people in to work alongside you and keep it as habitable as possible for your 3 year old. Make sure you have a working mobile (so you can deal with issues as they arise) and find an activity for each day to get your son out of it for a while.

ABudafulSightWereHappyTonight · 04/12/2007 12:59

Think I would stay put as well. As others have said you may need the money further down the line and if not you have more to spend on the fun bits of decorating.

Weekends away and/or nights in a hotel are a good plan too.

I think the builders may well get on quicker if you are there all the time.

georgie34 · 04/12/2007 14:18

We're seventeen weeks into a horrendous total refurb project and were living in it until yesterday. ( Painful details at worsthouse.blogspot.com). We've had to move out for the last month or so, so they can blitz the upstairs, where we have been camping, and I wish to god we'd done it sooner! The kids are so much happier having space to play and consistent heat, light and hygiene. On the other hand it has saved us a fortune in rent and I am now very appreciative of modern comforts. The jury's out on whether the builders could have done it quicker without us being there, but I'd say, if you can afford it, try to arrange to move out, at least for the worst bits.

bunyanvillas · 05/12/2007 16:47

If you can afford it, I would say move out! We are just about to move IN to a horrendous refurb job with a 2 year old and me pregnant! Can't afford to live out - not exactly looking forward to it

PTA · 05/12/2007 16:57

We did it three years ago and stayed put.

Did ds1 room first so that he stayed put. Used the spare bedroom until and ensuite was put in ours. Used the ensuite until the bathroom was done, which also included moving walls. Used the living room while the extension was done and then used the extension with the fireplace in the living room was replaced and decorated.

The kitchen was replaced in a day.

Yes it was stressful and messy and the house didn't feel like it belonged to me until all the tradesmen left but I could keep an eye on them all the time and we had money to go to a slightly higher spec than originally planned.

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