How to Renovate Your House While Living in It

Posted by on Apr 10, 2022

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Unsplash / Thayran Melo


Home renovations can be long and daunting experiences. As construction workers take down and put up walls and tiles, there will be dust, piles of dirty dishes and probably tears. (The crying will likely be from you, not the workers.) 

As difficult as sticking around your house can be during a renovation, the choice may be necessary. Renting a place will cost additional money and you can’t hang at your friend’s place forever — particularly if you have a family. 

With careful planning, you can go through your home renovation and stay put. Yes, you’ll have to tolerate loud noises and a crowd of workers ambling through your house. Some rooms will become entirely inaccessible until the whole thing is done. But if you work well with the contractor and follow some wise tips, you can remain at your place during renovations.


You’ll have carefully plan dates with your constructor if you want to stay in your home during a renovation. If you’re renovating your entire house, you’ll likely need to inhabit certain rooms during specific weeks and relocate as parts of the home are finished and other ones worked on. 

You’ll need to be flexible with your schedule and have an adaptable strategy for how to make everything work when extra time is needed. Working with your contractor, make a detailed renovation plan that predicts the beginning and end of each project section — and how you’ll need to adapt. For example, when will be able to count on the functionality of the kitchen, and will you need to have a temporary kitchen set up elsewhere? 

You should also understand the overall cost of the renovation, including details about the labor and materials. For example, when sourcing from a team such as Cost Shed, you’ll be given a range of prices and costs for some projects so that you can know in advance how much money you’ll need for the process. Then you can also factor in the price of extras like a countertop dishwasher for your temporary kitchen.

Define the Renovation Areas

As a part of the plan, you’ll need to define when specific areas are being renovated. To minimize the dust and noise traveling through the house, temporary barriers (likely plastic walls) will need to be put up and alternative walkways defined. 

A good contractor will seal up the HVAC system to ensure it isn’t carrying dust particles through the house. You may also need to set up extra air purifiers in specific rooms and seal up doors to help minimize the construction kick-up. An easy layer of protection can be added by covering furniture and floors with plastic or fabric drop cloths during construction hours. 
Talk to your contractor about their cleaning procedure and ask if they’re using HEPA vacuums and air filters along with the protective equipment that will keep your family and the workers safe. Areas that aren’t being renovated can be assigned new purposes so that you can continue to function somewhat normally. For instance, if your master bedroom is going through renovations, you can use your living room as a place for sleeping.

Bathroom and Kitchen Strategies

If you’re renovating a bathroom or the kitchen (either as a standalone project or part of a full house renovation), specific details need to be considered. For houses that have more than one bathroom, you’ll ideally need to do one at a time and utilize the one that isn’t being renovated. 

If you only have one potty, you may need to work with the contractor to ensure the toilet can be replaced every day it’s pulled up for tiling and plumbing work. Showers may need to be taken in a portable unit set up in the basement or backyard. 

For kitchens, you may want to set up a food prep station in a separate room with a microwave, hotplate and temporary sink. You may want to switch to making simply prepared dishes with an air fryer or small oven. 

Renovations are quite challenging times and, during the construction you may question whether you need it. However, the end result is usually worth the temporary inconvenience of construction. By planning the entire thing out, you can make your stay manageable.

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(1 comment)
  • by foxyred8
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    I think it's totally doable with some planning. One thing that helped us a lot was setting up a clear schedule and sticking to it as much as possible. We also focused on one room at a time to minimize the chaos. During our bathroom remodel, we looked into bath planet reviews , and they really helped us make decisions on fixtures and finishes. It's all about finding the right balance between your daily life and the renovation process.