Why You Should Never Live on Site
Renovating a home is always an expensive business, and it is tempting to throw all your available money at it. We strongly recommend budgeting for somewhere to live during the works when you are looking at how to plan a building budget. If you aren’t lucky enough to have friends or family with a spare room, then getting an Airbnb for a month for 2, or renting for a year will save you money and sanity in the long run. It’s nice to be close to the site, so you can pop in and check on progress, collect mail or drop off deliveries, but you might not have bought in a rental or budget-friendly neighbourhood. If you have a larger plot you may have an annexe and outbuildings that would suffice, or you could rent a caravan.
So why should you move out?
Building sites are dusty, dirty and full of chemicals. We recently had a client with asthma fall unconscious due to plaster particles in the air. At times your access to water may be restricted. And if you are having your kitchen taken out, I can assure you however much you think you like takeaways and microwave meals, they will start to grate on you.
It gets everywhere, which is not just demoralizing but if you have a job to go to, it makes it very difficult to make yourself presentable when you leave the house. It will be in your hair, on your clothes, on your laptop screen. This can be incredibly frustrating.
Whilst keeping an eye on builders to keep them on track is always recommended, they will work far faster if you are not there. They will be able to leave tools out, and when they stop work they can leave it set up for the next day. If you are living in the property, you will be paying them to tidy everything for at least an hour every day. By the end of the week, that’s 5 hours of labour you have lost.
You being on site might compromise the site manager’s CRM. He has a duty of care to his staff and if they are injured by something you have moved or changed then you might be personally liable.
Seeing your home torn apart can be very distressing. If you are on site every day it might be hard to see proper progress, as in the early stages it progresses very slowly and you won’t notice much change. Living with limited or no heating, electricity or internet might be fun for a few days, irritating for a week and maddening for a month.
Behind the curtain
Seeing a design before it is ready. If our clients live on site and see it all trickle in at different times, they deprive themselves of the ‘reveal’. Which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but if you have paid a designer one of the nicest things is turning up to a dressed and ready home. Often when you see parts of a design before others, it doesn’t make sense and clients can worry about the brightness of the colour, or the size of an item, before seeing the item in situ.
Access to belongings
A building site will progress much faster if you put your belongings into storage or can
shift them all to one room or garage where they can be carefully protected from dust. This means you are likely to be living out of a suitcase whether you are at home or away.
If you look at the percentage of costs to rent out, it is always worth it. Slumming it at a B and B down the road is always going to be easier than slumming it in a building site. You’ll have a proper bed and a shower and breakfast that isn’t coated in plaster.