Can You Stay In Your Home During a Remodel? What to Expect

windows being installed in a custom home in portland oregon
Windows being installed at SW Portland addition by Hamish Murray Construction

What is a typical remodel timeline? What is a home addition timeline?

Whole house remodel duration: If you are thinking of doing a whole house renovation, expect the project to last 8 months.

Major kitchen remodel duration: If you are doing a major kitchen remodel which includes moving some walls and structural work, expect it may take 4 to 5 months.

Home addition duration: An addition is different. Although a big addition may take 6 or more months, the excavation, foundation, and framing can happen before any exterior wall leading into your home is torn down. Each home addition project needs to be assessed to understand the impact and timeline for you.

What can I expect to spend on rent during a home remodeling project?

Portland Oregon area rental costs The smallest short term apartment rental in 2022 will cost you $1,300 or more a month. Expect most rentals to be $2,500 -$3,000 a month, depending on how many rooms you need. So, if your project takes eight months and you spend $3,000 a month on rent, you will need to add $24,000 to your project cost.

Pros and cons of a remodeled home – stay in the home or elsewhere?

Pro: You save money if you stay. If you are willing to live in the part of your home which will not be remodeled, then yes, you can save money. Just know that there will be construction noises and some inconveniences. We have often worked with families to put up a semi-permanent barrier wall that keeps out the construction mess and dust, keeping you living comfortably in your home during the remodel. It can be done.

Con: You have less convenience if you stay.  It truly depends on the remodel or addition if it’s more convenient to move elsewhere. Generally speaking, the bigger and longer the project, the better off you are to move out. There’s no doubt that the ideal option during a significant remodeling project, apart from money considerations, is to move out. 

But, it’s up to you on what you can handle or afford. We have never had a client who rented during a big remodel project say that they wished they had stayed in their home. 

home building technician adding hardwood floors for a home remodel
Hardwood floors being installed at a Vancouver remodel by Hamish Murray Construction

Can a whole house renovation be two phases to keep us in the home?

We have been asked this question by many new clients, “Can we separate the whole house renovation into two phases?” Most often, the cost of setting up the construction project into two projects outweighs the cost of renting. There are construction set up fees and efficiencies of scale to consider. Every time an electrician, plumber or other trade partner (“subcontractor”) shows up at the site, there are setup fees. More importantly, breaking up the work into two projects means that work efficiencies are lost. Also, the project timeline becomes longer.

Assume a minimum 10% extra cost for a whole house remodel if you break it into two phases.

Let’s say your home remodel costs $300,000. That means that if you break it up into two projects it will cost you an extra $30,000. You also add more time to the construction project.  In this example, you are better off moving out. 

What other factors should I consider for staying or moving out during a remodel?

Here are things to expect with your remodel:

1. Work from home Do you work from home and need a quiet space during meetings? A good builder can tell you in advance when the project will be noisy. If you have other places to go during the noisy times, then perhaps you can live at home.

2. Kitchen Is your kitchen being remodeled? We have been able to create a make-shift kitchen, often using a laundry sink for dishes. It depends on your home’s layout if a make-shift kitchen will work.

3. What is being remodeled? If you are renovating the basement, this is typically an easier construction project to keep you in the home. If you are doing a whole house remodel, including all your bathrooms, it will be difficult to stay.

4. Losing power There will be times when we need to turn off the power and the WIFI. A good builder will let you know ahead of time when you will lose power and WIFI.   

5. Noise tolerance Some days will definitely be noisy. Perhaps these noises will generally be happy sounds to you. For some people, they are invasive sounds. You need to know your personal tolerance to noise.

6. Bathrooms  If your temporary living space has one bathroom, determine if your family can easily share with each other.

early stages of a portland home remodel by hamish murray construction
Earlier stage of a Portland remodel by Hamish Murray Construction

Tell us about what’s important to you.

If you are planning on remodeling or adding to your home and are wondering about where to begin,  or if you can stay in your home, we would be happy to answer your questions.  

We seek to build each project on schedule and on budget, and always with top-notch quality results. We solely work with independent architects and designers, and we build long-term lasting relationships. 

Contact us

We’d love to meet you. Contact us or call us at (503) 460-7203 with questions you have, or ask us about our experience or any other question that is on your mind.