Living at home during construction?
I realize that it could be very tempting to live at home during a remodel, and you can, but be aware of what you are getting into. Don’t base your decision on misconceptions, AND talk to your contractor before making your decision.
4 Reasons it can cost more:
1. The contractor will be required to tidy up the construction site more than he or she otherwise would.
2. You could be tempted to chat with him or her every time you make eye contact causing delays not originally in the schedule
3. The rules you need to set to prevent you from going crazy (start and stop times for example) may cause delays.
4. Protection: The contractor may have to protect things that he or she wouldn’t otherwise have to protect. For example, depending on the project, it is possible to spend just as much money protecting a bathroom for you to use during your stay, as it would to demolish it and build a new one. Again, talk to your contractor about your needs.
Is it safe?
There are inevitably health repercussions from inhabiting a space filled with dust from both demo and construction. It is possible to use dust barrier systems like Zip-Wall, but you will still be breathing and possibly ingesting the dust created every day. Also, consider use a portable air cleaner like the BuildClean Dust Control System. This is a HEPA based system and this the far better than anything you will find at Home Depot.
It can be emotionally taxing
Really meditate on the idea that unfamiliar construction workers will be coming and going, playing music, and generally doing many things closely resembling barely organized chaos. These people will be in your space and in your face. Are you ready for this additional stress? The answer may be YES but just make sure to discuss what this might mean for you and your family.
Set Ground Rules
You will need to set predetermined agreed upon general rules that your contractor is responsible for enforcing regarding start and stop times for construction, parking, trash, smoking areas, music, etc. and discuss what cost implications they might have, if any.
The pseudo kitchen
It is possible to set up a temporary space like the one that is being remodeled, so you can stay during construction. I have seen people set up a temporary kitchen in their basement by putting a piece of plywood on some sawhorses to create a countertop, using a microwave or small hotplate to cook on, and bringing the refrigerator down into the basement. Make sure you have a utility sink and keep in mind that there is no garbage disposal. In addition, plan ahead for when your electricity and water will be shut off and for how long. Literally walk through in your mind’s eye the process of cooking, eating and cleaning up after a meal, and see if you have what you need in your pseudo space.