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Renovating your house can give you the living space you’ve always wanted, but the process can create a huge mess and major inconvenience. Some homeowners move out during renovations, while others stay and make do. There are several important factors to consider when deciding how to handle your living arrangements during renovations.

Extent of the Renovations
If you plan to gut your house, living there during the renovation process would be unrealistic. There would be too much chaos and disruption to live with any semblance of comfort. If an essential room, such as the kitchen or the only bathroom with a shower, would be unusable, you would most likely have to move out. On the other hand, if the work would be confined to one section of the house and you could live relatively comfortably in another area, staying put might be feasible.

Health and Safety Concerns
Renovations stir up lots of dust and can release toxins, such as lead paint, into the air. Workers may also use various products that contain chemicals. Even with good ventilation, diminished air quality could be problematic, especially for people with respiratory conditions or compromised immune systems or for young children.

Kids and pets are tempted to play with unfamiliar things, and a construction site would be filled with boxes, tools, and materials that could be dangerous. You would have to watch your children and pets constantly or block off areas to keep them safe. The clutter could also make it hard for young kids or people with limited mobility to get around safely.

Stress
Renovations could dramatically disrupt your life and your family’s schedule. Workers would need to be in the house for long stretches of time. If you have young kids who take naps during the day or if you work from home, it could be impossible to maintain a relatively normal life. In addition, the whole family could have trouble sleeping due to stress.

Time Required to Finish the Job
If your family moved out during renovations, the contractors wouldn’t have to work around your schedule, so they could finish the project faster than they would if you lived there. The company might even charge less if you vacated the house during renovations.

Cost of Relocating
Staying with family or friends could help you save money, provided everyone got along. Already strained relationships could get worse in a cramped and stressful situation. If you couldn’t stay with someone, you could rent a hotel room or apartment.

Should You Stay or Go?
In some cases, moving out during home renovations is necessary, particularly if there are safety concerns. If you have the choice of staying or going, think about the makeup of your family, your lifestyle and how you would all handle the stress of living in your house while it underwent renovations. You might decide that the financial cost of relocating temporarily is much less than the potential emotional toll staying at home could have on your family.

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