Mar. 14 2024

Do I Need to Move Out to Remodel? Where to Live During Your Renovation

by Haley Carroll

There’s a saying that goes, “Things get worse before they get better.”

This can apply to your home during a remodel: to make a dream transformation happen, you’ll likely need to completely tear apart one or more rooms. And one thing about demolition – it’s disruptive, especially if you work from home.

If you’re planning to remodel your home, you may be wondering if you can stick it out through the chaotic days and avoid relocating. It can be hard to tell what you should do since every remodel has its own nuances, and no two families will be affected the same.

As a major decision, in this blog post we’ll walk you through the process to choosing the right option for your unique situation.

The short of it: Most times, you can make it through staying in your home during a remodel. However, there are some instances – such as major projects that involve multiple rooms – when relocating during at least a portion of your renovation will be worthwhile.

When you partner with a design-build firm like Innovative Home Renovations, we’ll make the duration of your renovation as painless as possible by providing accommodations such as a temporary kitchen so your family can still prepare meals and dust barriers and extractors to minimize the amount of debris you’ll come into contact with.

If you do choose to relocate at any point during the remodel, you can be assured that your project will be in good hands, because they own the project end-to-end.

See also: Understanding the Pros and Cons of the Different Remodeling Approaches

How to choose where to live during your remodel

Demo Construction Worker

There are three steps to making this decision:

  1. Gather all the options available to you. Along with the option to stay in your home, list all the feasible relocation options you have.
  2. Compare the financial cost and life impact of each option to one another. We’ll help you think of all those little details that may be affected.
  3. Choose the option you can afford that will disrupt your life the least. After thorough research and analysis from the previous steps, you’ll be able to choose the option that balances your comfort and your budget.

Where can I live during my home remodel?

Stay in your home. If you’re only remodeling the kitchen, one bathroom, or a small section of your home, you may be able to stay in your home with little impact on your life. If a larger portion of your home is being updated, you’ll likely need to put much of your belongings in storage and be limited to a small section of your home as your living quarters.

Stay with nearby friends, family, or neighbors. If you only need to vacate your home for a short time and want to save money while staying nearby, it’s worth reaching out to members of your community that you’re close with to see if they have room to spare. We often find the families of your kids’ classmates are willing to take some friendly faces in for a few days.

Search for accommodations on Nextdoor. Nextdoor is a platform that connects you to the people and resources in your neighborhood. It’s a great channel to reach out to those who live around you dor advice, ideas, and leads on where to stay. You may find that your friendly neighbor down the street knows just the spot for your family to crash!

Reach out to local real estate offices. For renting a temporary residence, local realtors will have the inside scoop on what’s available. They’ll be able to uncover all your best opportunities, so you can feel confident wherever you choose to rent is the most optimal price and terms for you situation.

Stay in an extended stay hotel. Long-term stay hotels offer discounted rates over normal hotels to guests that stay over a certain number of nights. The rooms in these hotels can be larger and include a kitchen or kitchenette. These hotels will also typically have laundry, recreational facilities, conference rooms, and accommodations for pets.

Rent an Airbnb. Airbnb can offer lower costs and a wider variety of accommodations than hotels, since you’ll be renting houses, units, or rooms from the people who own them or live there. It all depends on who chooses to host on Airbnb in your area. There is opportunity for negotiating a great deal for yourself on Airbnb since you’ll be dealing with homeowners instead of businesses.

Stay with friends/family. If you have family or friends in the area that have room to spare, this could be an extremely cost-effective way to avoid living in your demo zone. Just be sure to compensate them for their generosity, perhaps by covering meals or allocating some funds for them.

Go on a vacation. For less intense renovations, you can miss the worst of the upheaval by timing your vacation to coincide with your remodel. This works best if you are comfortable leaving the project unsupervised, or if you have a design-build firm managing the project for you.

See also: Can I travel and remodel at the same time?

A combination of these options. The level of disruption and the length of time it will last will be different for every remodel. You may find that the most cost-effective option that works with your life is to spend most of the remodel in the home but relocate for the most dirty and loud portion of the project.

Pro Tip

Understanding the scope of your remodel and its timeline will be key to determining the points in time when it would be best not to be living in your home and when it wouldn’t be as disruptive to you or the workers to be staying in the house.


How will staying in my home during a remodel affect me?

Stressed Worried Couple Remodel

If you’re leaning towards staying put, here’s what you should keep in mind:

You can keep a closer eye on things. If you’ve hired a general contractor for the project, it’s important to keep tabs on how things are progressing. You want to make sure that tasks are going to plan and to your liking. If you’ve partnered with a design-build firm, this won’t be much of a concern.

You might save time and money from uprooting (but probably not as much as you’d like to). While you won’t have to pay rent, in most cases. construction takes longer when the site must stay livable for its homeowners.

If you’re going without a kitchen for a long time, the cost of eating out will add up. You’ll probably be more motivated to spend money on activities outside of the home to escape the chaos, so factor in a buffer for those extraneous costs as well.

Pro Tip

If you’ll be living with a kitchen that’s out of commission but want the ability to cook for yourself, purchasing a portable induction stovetop such as this one is a worthy investment. Or, Innovative Home Renovations will provide you with a stovetop for the duration of your remodel.


Your body’s health can be affected. If you’re not careful, you’ll likely breathe in dust from the job site. You may have to deal with loss of sleep as well, from early morning noise and other disruptions that throw off your sleep schedule.

Your mind and well-being will be challenged. The lack of peace, loss of routine, and influx of strangers coming in and out of your home is a stressful situation. It can be hard to care for your family, go to work, and come home to a construction zone; relocating could prevent more than a few arguments.

Kids and pets will need to be more careful. Although the site will be secured by the team every night, your children and pets will still need to be monitored more carefully, to make sure they aren’t getting into harm’s way in the areas that are under construction.

See also: What to Expect When Remodeling Your Seattle Home

How will relocating for my home renovation affect me?

Family Leaving Suitcases

Even though you’ll escape those lovely early morning construction sounds, here’s what you should think about before you choose to relocate:

It can be a burden – financially and time-wise. The rent money you spend will likely come at the expense of your renovation budget. Finding and relocating to your temporary location will also require time and effort.

You won’t be able to supervise the project as closely. When you’re farther away from the project site, you won’t have as many updates on the progress you’re making.

Your commute times might look different. Getting to work or school may be challenging from your temporary location.

By accounting for these financial considerations as well as how your family’s schedule and well-being will be disrupted, jump for the living situation that will ease your stress without eating up your entire budget.

Working with a design-build firm benefits any scenario 

No matter where you’d like to live during your renovation, working with a design-build firm will help you limit your stress and maximize the success of your project.

By having a single, unified team to handle the remodel from start to finish, you won’t have to worry about keeping a constant eye on things or handling the communication flow among multiple parties. We have a set schedule for providing updates to clients, including bi-weekly status emails during the Build Stage and bi-monthly virtual meetings to chat through any questions you have with a project manager.

With a design-build firm like Innovative Home Renovations, you can tell us where you need to be, and we’ll handle the rest. We are not only concerned with creating amazing spaces that you’ll love for years to come, but we also want the remodeling experience to be comfortable and empowering for your family.

Contact us today to start a Seattle kitchen or bathroom remodel that is compatible with your life and will leave you with a home that you love.

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