Dust & Noise

Is it best to move out when the builders move in?

Front view of house currently undergoing renovation & extension works where the occupants have decided to move out during construction

Anyone wishing to carry out improvement works on their home, be it an extension or alterations, has a number of key questions to ask, one of which is often: ‘can I live in the property during the works?’ This is a very important point to consider right at the start of the process and which can have implications for both the cost and the time the project takes, as well as on your physical and mental wellbeing. This blog post explores the pros and cons of ‘living in’ or ‘moving out’ and relates these to the particular circumstances of a project in order to help you decide how much disruption you are prepared to put up with to achieve your dream home.

Assessing the extent of the works and the likely disruption
Building works are noisy and messy; however considerate your contractor there will always be an element of disruption with any construction project. Deciding whether to live in your property during the works or not will be dependent on several factors, the most crucial of which is the extent of the works. If the proposed works are in a defined area and can be isolated from the main part of the house then ‘living in’ can be a viable option. If however the works are extensive, involving several different areas of your house, or certain key living spaces or bathrooms, you may decide that the disruption is too great and it is preferable to move out. Many people find it difficult to manage without at least a basic functioning kitchen and so if your kitchen is likely to be out of action for a prolonged period you may prefer to move out, at least until the kitchen is back in action. Assessing the extent of the works and therefore the potential disruption can be done right at the start of the project, allowing you plenty of time to plan how and where you will live during construction.

Interior of house currently undergoing extension & renovation

Programming of the works: temporary relocation
Builders who specialise in the domestic sector are well practised in working on projects where clients choose to live in the property during construction. At the pre-construction stage the programming of the works can be discussed and arrangements can be made, for example setting up a temporary sink, or temporary access, to minimise disruption. If you are having an extension built, normal practice is to build the extension and make it watertight before knocking through to the existing house. This way the construction of the extension can be ongoing independently of works to the main house until it is time to complete the internal alterations. Careful programming can enable you to make arrangements to only temporarily move out of your home and reduce the costs of finding accommodation elsewhere.

Two storey rear extension: constructed first before
knocking through to undertake internal works
Interior of the new extension seen from
opening with existing house

Pros & cons: moving out versus living in:

The initial excitement of the prospect of improving your home can be tempered by the realisation that undertaking any form of construction will have an element of disruption. Being aware of this from the outset will help you to plan for the works and prepare a strategy for how you are going to live with the disruption, either in the property or by moving elsewhere. The factors which will influence your decision will be based on a combination of the level of potential disruption, your own particular circumstances and the associated time and cost implications. However disruptive any potential building works will be it is important to keep in sight the finished project which you can enjoy for years to come while the inconvenience will fade to a distant memory.

All images in this blog post are from a project currently under construction in Beeston, previously featured in our blog posts from September 2018 and February 2019. The photos are presented courtesy of our clients.

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