In an ideal world when major building works are being undertaken at home, you would whisk your family off to warmer climes, returning to a new shiny extension. However, in reality, this is rarely possible, mostly due to work commitments, school and financial cost. Additionally, unless you have hired a project manager you will want to be around to make decisions during the building process.
Your only option is to live on site whilst the work takes place. This is no mean feat and will cause inconvenience for weeks, if not months – especially as these projects tend to overrun. Keep the final result in your mind to be your motivation to get through it. With a little careful planning and a lot of creativity, the process is doable.
To minimise disruption and stress as much as possible it’s important to have a plan. Try to get a detailed schedule of works. To work out which areas of the house you will have access to and when. Look at your cooking facilities and work out if access to the bathroom facilities will be restricted at any point. If the work is going to be taking place in the middle of winter, will the heating be off for long periods of time? The key to living on site whilst building work is taking place is having excellent communication with builders and tradespeople.
It is likely that space will become restricted during the construction process, so you will need to think creatively about how to maximise the space remaining. If you have a garage, this could be converted into temporary storage or cooking facilities. If your kitchen is being affected by the works you will need to allocate an area to cook (in a microwave!) and prepare food. Your living room could be adapted for this purpose.
You will also need to clear the areas that building work is taking place, which means your furniture would be best placed in a storage facility. There are many companies that offer storage solutions that can be long or short term, such as https://www.magentastorage.co.uk/.
The building process could potentially be quite stressful for pets, especially cats and dogs. It may be a good idea to look at alternative places to stay such as kennels or with friends and family.
Create a backup plan
Sometimes even the best-laid plans can go awry, so try to create a backup plan of somewhere to stay, if you hit problems or simply need a break! Problems that may be encountered include total loss of power, no water and no bathroom facilities. If you don’t have friends and family living close by, maybe consider staying in a rental cottage or hotel for a few nights.
Some people site caravans on their land in which to live in, whilst major work is taking place. This could be an option if planning in your area doesn’t prohibit it and you have easy access to power and water. It could be potentially quite exciting – for a short time!
There’s no getting away from the fact that living on site will at times be cold and inconvenient, it will also be very dusty. Planning and communication is the key and just remember it’s only temporary!