Dust and other risks
Needless to say, when taking on either an extension or refurbishment, prepare yourself for dust. A lot of dust.
This can be a health hazard for your children, especially in older homes, where there’s a chance of lead and other toxins being present. Even without these factors, normal dust can aggravate conditions such as asthma.
If you do stay in your home, you can offer some protection to your family by sealing off the construction site. You might also want to consider getting air purifiers for bedroom areas, plus humidifiers - these will help slow the dust’s progression around your home.
Scaffolding: dangerous temptation
For children, there’s nothing more tempting than a new climbing frame, or some shiny new tools. Unless you have older children, who you trust to heed the risks of construction equipment, or you’re confident you can keep your kids away from blocked off areas, having such temptations might not be worth the risk.
You’ll also need to consider how distracting your children could be for your contractors. Builders might be able to help keep them away from danger zones, but doing so will divide their attention. Likewise, if your kids are constantly going over for a chat, they’ll be gabbing into your builder’s hourly rate.
What could you live without?
Most projects come with sacrifice. For some, this could be as small as losing your second bathroom, but for others, you could find yourself without a kitchen, running water, and even electricity.
Many homeowners have to get clever when living on site. We’ve known people to fashion meals with nothing but a microwave and hot plate. Others have had to hire out a port-a-loo, shower in the gym, even bring in a generator.
The real question is, is it worth dealing with these difficulties AND being a parent? Adults can make sacrifices, but children tend to be more stubborn in their routine.
Where to live - rent or caravan?
If you do choose to move elsewhere during construction, most people choose one of these two options:
Renting: the most popular option, as it allows you to continue your life as normal, with all the amenities your children have grown accustomed to. However, this is also the most expensive option, and can add a sizeable cost to your budget. Make sure you factor this into your calculations early on.
Caravan: not very glam, but could be a good option if you have land to spare near your home. Purchasing a second-hand mobile home, with space enough for your family, keeps you close to home, and lets you sell on this investment, once the work is finished.
Benefits of living on-site
We’ve discussed a lot of the negatives of staying put, so lets touch on some of the benefits. After all, there’s some very good reasons why homeowners choose to live on site.
Money - no surprise, but living at home can save you a lot of money when compared to spending thousands on rent.
Project management - being next to the action, you’ll be able to keep a close eye on how your project is getting on day by day. This is great if you’re project managing the construction yourself.
Character building - if nothing else, going through the hardships of living in a building site will teach your kids some valuable lessons on patience and learning to live without certain comforts.
Want to learn more about taking on a big home project? At Resi, we offer free consultations to help guide all homeowners through each step of the process. Book yours now.