Apartment Renovation: Should You Live There?

Living in your apartment during an apartment renovation may seem like a good idea. Why not? You’ll live in the apartment while it’s being worked on, sparing you the expense of having to find a place to live while the work is being done. Good idea? Maybe.

Living in your NYC home during an apartment renovation may seem like a good idea at first. Why not? You’ll live in the apartment while work is being completed, saving yourself the expense of having to find a temporary place to live. Brilliant, right? Maybe. There are some circumstances where it would make sense to live in your home while renovations were being done, while there are other situations where living in your home while work is being done will drive you and yours bonkers.

What Will Happen During Your Renovation?

The decision as to whether or not you live in your home during your apartment renovation will be primarily dependent on the type of work you’re having done. If you’ll be doing major construction work that involves tasks like knocking down walls, sending clouds of dust and plaster into the air, you may want to think twice about whether or not you stay at home. If the renovation is taking place on another floor in your home, you may be able to get away with staying on site. If the reno is taking place on the same floor that you and your family will be sleeping on, it may be time to check out an Airbnb or shack up with the parental units.

Is the Renovation Taking Place in Essential Rooms?

When we say essential rooms, we’re talking about rooms like kitchens and bathrooms — rooms that have to be used every day. If your entire kitchen will be out of commission, you may be able to get away with staying on site, if you’re able to use alternative resources. Some people get away with living on site during a kitchen reno by buying a dorm fridge, toaster oven, and a hot plate and placing them in another room. For water, just use the bathroom. This plan may work for single people or couples, but it may be much harder to pull off for people with children.

Are You High Maintenance?

If you’re a person who generally like things “just so,” living in your home during a renovation will not be for you. Contractors will be traipsing in and out of your home, and they won’t be as concerned about the growing layer of dust and grime as you will be. They’re probably not going to clean up too well after themselves at the end of every day. If you’re a person who washes every plate and wipes down every counter until it sparkles every single night, you’re probably not going to do well living on a construction site.

Is the Reno Going to Take a Long Time?

The first thing you have to remember is that renovations nearly always take longer than people think they will. All sorts of things can go wrong: the wrong materials can show up; key elements for the reno can be delayed in shipping; slow contractors could be relying on even slower subcontractors. All of those incidences can turn a three-week project into a three-month project. Consider the length of your project and all the things that can delay it when determining whether or not you plan on living in the midst of it.


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