Sunday, May 15, 2011

To Move or not to move?

Is staying in the house while renovating a good idea or would it be better to move out?

Obviously in some cases there is no choice. On one side the renovation could be so extensive that you are forced to move out and on the other the budget might be so stretched that having to pay rent elsewhere is too difficult and there is no options for staying rent free with family or friends for a long period.

Building cubbies in kids bedroom as distraction

So what to do if you do have the choice? I got to thinking about this after reading an article earlier this week on Domain about a family that did stay in the house. The comments that followed were very interesting.

I then got asked by a neighbour on Friday about our decision to stay, especially when we have two young kids. In our case we have no parents here in Melbourne to stay with as some of my friends have done and we decided that the amount of rent we would have to pay to be in the neighbourhood and out of the house for at least six months was just a little too much.

And well it has been an experience and the week coming up is probably going to be one of the hardest. Thus far:
  • We went without a shower in the house for nine weeks (we thought it would be three) while we converted the family bathroom to an ensuite.
  • During this period hubby and I slept on a sofa bed in the lounge and the hallway between the bedrooms was out of bounds for the kids, which ended up meaning my daughter slept in the lounge with me (she got scared) and hubby slept in the bedroom with my son, not ideal.
  • We now are living in the front of the house while we do our back extension, so all our furniture is squashed into two bedrooms, a lounge and the hall.
  • The kitchen is being covered with plastic almost every day now, just a bit annoying.
  • The mess is amazing inside the house and the mud outside and pile of builders waste in the back garden has made it out of bounds for the kids.
  • And at times the tension is very high, the builders have heard me yell (well more to the point loose it) and seen me in my slippers and PJs at 7am.
Getting out as much as possible

The past week has been even harder with the plasterer here working not only in the back area but in the kids current bedroom and the weather has been freezing and wet so going to the park is not an option. This week the plasterer is sanding and ripping down and replacing old cornice in the kitchen so we have now been told to move everything out of the kitchen which we were just covering. (I think takeaway or visits to friends might be in order).

So as you can imagine the part of the house we are living in is getting more and more cluttered and I keep tripping over stuff. I hate clutter!

But by the end of this week things should improve dramatically, well that's what I keep telling myself.

And though it has been a nightmare at times I am glad I am here in my own house and seeing it all unfold around me. Would I do it again? Not sure ask me in another couple of months when it is all over.

So back to miving things around again. Hope you are having a good weekend.


  1. It sounds like you have a lot going on. So far in our reno we have been able to easily not use the area we gave been working in but god only knows what we'll do when it cones to the bathroom as we have no ensuite. I also don't find it fun having tradies around the place, I don't relax :)
    I hope yours comes together soon do you can all get in your own beds at the very least!

  2. We did a similar thing with sleeping on a mattress on the floor of various rooms. I hope it comes together quickly for you this week. Not much fun during winter. ;-)

  3. Oh Georgy. We've been renting and building for the past 1.5 years. Our lease ends in 4.5 months and we've decided we are going to move in our new place then, regardless whether is finished or not. Even if we dine out eery day it will still cost us less than what we are paying for rent now. That's what we are thinking now though...

    Hang in there. I'm sure it will all be finished soon.



  4. Living through major renovations is tough. I hope things get easier for you soon - 9 weeks without a shower isn't fun!

    Once your family makes it through the reno, you know you'll be able to make it through anything together :-)

  5. It's awful, that's all there is to it! We lived in two rooms for four months with no kitchen or laundry and only an ensuite bathroom. It was so squashed and stressful. We also had no heating and it was winter! We did go out a lot - to parks, cafes, the Zoo! We chose to stay so that I could project manage and I'm glad we did. Hope it all gets better for you soon and it WILL be worth it! Rachaelxx

  6. It will all be worth it and the money you save on rent you will be able to use to buy delicious things to decorate your lovely new look home. We survived without a kitchen for 6 mths. We laugh about it now.

  7. I so admire the fact that you are building a dream. I just about managed a kitchen reno one year and bathrooms the next! I can't belive how much dust there was! I wonder if you do it all in one go, you must just get used to it? I can only imagine the excitement though when you can plan a home that suits your family and your needs, now that must be worth holding on for!
    Looking forward to following you on this journey.

  8. Oh, that brings back memories. Living through a renovation in Sydney that involved brick walls and lots of dust everywhere. We ate grit for weeks. Hope it all goes well. Emma.


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