Should I Stay or Should I Go During my Home Remodel?

Whether you're remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, finishing your basement, or popping the top on your home, you probably know that it have a big impact on your day-to-day routines. You might even be wondering whether you should clear out of your house altogether during the construction process. The answer is: it depends. The size and scope of the remodel obviously impact that decision, but so do a host of other considerations that vary from person to person. Here are some things you should be thinking about when deciding whether or not to leave your home during a construction project:

  • Timing. If you are planning to at least take a week-long vacation during the remodel, think about when the noise and activity are going to be at their peak. You should talk to your contractor about this, but a good rule of thumb is that the early days are often the loudest--when jackhammering (to move the sewer pipe for a bathroom, etc), framing, and drywall hanging are happening.
  • Your family/pets. If you have small children who are still napping during the day or super-sensitive pets who are going to be in a panic over the noise and the people coming in and out of your house (or might seize the opportunity to escape), you might consider leaving your home for at least a portion of the construction project.
  • Project type and scope. For really major projects, where the roof is coming off, plumbing and electricity will have to be cut off for a period of time, and/or you won't have any access to a bathroom, it's probably time to look into getting a rental for the duration of the construction.
  • Budget. We recommend that people include any rental costs in their budget upfront. Even if you can stay during most of a project, things like finishing hardwood floors will require you to vacate the premises at least in the short-term. Putting this into your budget makes it less painful when it occurs.
  • Cleaning. You can talk to your contractor about the dustiest phases of the project, especially if anyone in your home suffers from asthma or allergies, and plan to clear out at least at those times. And you should also plan on budgeting for a thorough house cleaning and duct cleaning after the project is finished.

The big key here is open communication with your contractor. They will be able to tell you when the most intense phases of the project are and when it might be relatively easy to move back in. Many people want to stay in their home for at least part of a remodel to save costs, so knowing when your presence will just slow things down or when you'll be able to function semi-normally in your home is essential to a happy remodeling process.

Let us know if you have any questions about a remodel or basement finishing project. We're always happy to come out and give a free estimate! You can reach Jeff Proctor at for any basement finishing questions or Jason Brown at for other projects.