Should You Live in Your House While You Renovate?

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

If you’re considering improving your property with some renovations, you’ll be facing a big decision about whether you should stay or go.

There are pros and cons for both options and, depending on the scope of your planned renovation, and your available renovation budget, it’s important to understand the potential benefits and pitfalls of each choice, in order to make the best possible decision.

Staying At Home

By electing to stay in your house while the renovations are underway, you will enjoy easy access to the basic creature comforts of home but you will need to balance this experience against the possibility of some disadvantages.

Pros of staying in your home while you renovate:

1. Saving money

Renovations can be costly and by adding to the expense by paying a separate rental at the same time you are employing tradespeople at your home, can only add to the stress. By staying in your own home, you can make significant savings that could make a big difference to your renovation budget.

2. Keeping an eye on things

With tradespeople coming and going from your property, being there to keep a close eye on their progress can help you feel in control. By checking what is running to schedule and what might be falling behind, you can project-manage with insight and be available to make decisions and deal with issues as they occur to help your renovation run smoothly.

3. Fixing problems

If you talk to anyone who’s lived through a renovation, you’ll know that things can crop up to blow your budget well beyond its limitations and projected time-frames.

If the materials, fittings and fixtures you had your heart set on turn out to be unavailable, being on-hand to make snap decisions about viable alternatives can help save both time and money and the annoying back-and-forth of looking at new product catalogues and relaying messages to suppliers and installers.


Cons of staying in your home while you renovate:

Sure, staying in your home while you renovate might seem like a positive cost-saving strategy but the reality can be very different.

1. Managing the everyday

The simplest things – such as cooking healthy food, being able to turn on a tap to brush your teeth or to just have a shower – can all be impacted by renovation work.

Doing the dishes in the laundry sink might seem fun to the kids but dealing with daily inconveniences has a way of wearing you down in the long-term – and if your renovation blows out (and they do have a habit of doing that!), the interruption to your life can suddenly seem like a major headache.

For parents of very young children, or older children dealing with important study schedules, dealing with interrupted sleep and annoying noise disturbances, due to hammering and power tools, can also be very stressful.

2. Living dangerously

Would you let your kids play on a building site without wearing a hard hat and some protective steel-capped boots?

Exposed wires, nails and screws, the temptation of touching tools and the occasional hole in the ground can all become serious hazards – especially in the presence of someone very young, or elderly.

If you do have kids and are unable to give them complete supervision in your partially-renovated home, it might be wise to find temporary alternatives to your accommodation, such as a hotel/motel/relative’s spare room, or short-term rental.

It’s also important to consider your pets padding through the garden and house. Loud and constant noises, strangers and dangerous things to chew can all be a risk to your beloved pets.

3. Dust, debris and despair

Even the best relationships can feel the pressure of living in a building zone for weeks – and sometimes months – on end.

Rummaging through boxes just to find your socks can have an impact on even the toughest spirit and dealing with the lack of privacy that comes from having tradies traipse mud through your hallway at all hours of the day – as well as the dust and dirt that floats around the house as a result of sanding, scraping, plastering and bricklaying – is enough to tip even the most reasonable person over the edge.

Stress can leave a lasting impact on people and to help reduce yours, it might be smart to look at other ways to project-manage your next reno, without being on-site day and night.

4. Feeling trapped

What starts off as a prudent way to reduce renovation-related costs runs the risk of feeling like a jail cell if your renovation time-frames blow out and you feel trapped in your project of a home, with nowhere else to go to get away from the construction zone. Even if you do decide to live in your home while it is being renovated, have an alternative up your sleeve, in case it does become too much and you need to change your mind and move, temporarily, to another accommodation option.

Renovating your home should be an exciting time in your life and, with some careful planning, you can help ensure the experience is a positive one for you and your family.


For information about refinancing your home to fund your much-needed renovations, talk to our mortgage broking experts at Loans Actually today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *