Your running water, toilets, electricity, walls and/or roof may be temporarily unavailable during a major renovation, extension or build.
You may not have access to these services and amenities for a few days or half a year, depending on how major the works are.
So, if pitching a tent in your backyard is not your style, where can you live during this domestically messy time?
Having personally renovated homes before, I say: “…anyone considering living in a property while renovating is to avoid if at all possible.”
In fact, “The more difficult and complicated the renovation, the more challenging it will be. I have lived through two structural renos and both times found it extremely stressful.”
So, where can you temporarily live if you are renovating/building?
Move in with your Relatives
This is the number one option for some but you can only take this option if your relatives live close to your job and, preferably, the build site. Also it depends on whether you have a close relationship that can overcome the stress of sharing living space. Cost is negotiable.
This is where you agree to take care of the house of a homeowner who needs a person to reside in their home brief while they are away. Get in touch with housesit agencies to express your interest, location and timeframe. The cost is, typically you just pay the agency registration fee. Normally, the sitter lives free of rent but may have to do simple chores like walking the pets. You just might be blessed with timing right when you need it.
This also depends on schedules and location but may be ideal if you are seeking a flexible short-term living solution without massive overheads. This is perfect when an established household of occupants can use the renovator’s contribution to rent and living costs, but does not rely on it. Cost is negotiable, contingent on room occupied and length of stay.
Buy a Caravan
Park it on site. It will give you a private space to sleep while allowing you to keep a close watch on the renovation. But be aware that you will hear noise from 6am and may get in the way of the builder too. How much does a new caravan cost? It could cost tens of thousands of dollars but you may sell it after the build completion.
Rent a Fixed Caravan
Leasing a fixed caravan at a caravan park is good on paper, except can turn out to be as costly (or more) as leasing a house on the open rental market. In addition, location may not be ideal because are typically found on the peripheries of cities. Cost may be $100s weekly, but long-term rentals may come with a discount.
Temporary Rental Homes
A short-term rental home is a good option of timings and locations match. However, many landlords want at least a six-month lease, which may be a lengthy stay if renovations are minor. Cost is variable.
And if you're buying, you may have the option to stay where you are and gain early access to your new home. There are many scenarios and circumstances. You may be allowed in to do 'cosmetic' improvements like painting and carpeting etc or you may be granted early access where you pay a small 'rental fee' to begin renovations where you will normally be required to have insurance on the property. This type of access will generally exclude any structural changes until you have settled on the purchase of your new home. The benefit to you is that it may not cost you anything at all.
Make Home-Life Easier during Renovations with these Practical Tips:
- Make sure your budget allows the cost of measures to relieve the stress of living in a renovation
- Vacating your home, at least during the crucial phases of the renovation, is a smart move. If you can’t afford the cost of alternative accommodation think about house sitting. You can check out several websites providing house sitting prospects.
- It is important to have access to wet areas. You need to determine what to do about washing and storing clothes, preparing meals, and bathing.
- A covered veranda, pergola or garage is very useful if you are undertaking a kitchen and laundry renovations. Create an outdoor kitchen by outfitting it with a fridge, dishwasher and barbeque and laundry by moving your washing machine.
- If your home has at least one bathroom, the renovation can be phased in so that you can have access to one all the time. If not, and your one bathroom is demolished, seek another option. Adults can shower at the gym. For smaller children, you need to search for another living space for around 10 days while the bathroom cannot be used.