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My wife and I are about to close on an apartment that needs a new kitchen, two new bathrooms and various other work. I wouldn't quite call it a gut renovation, but it is close.
We are trying to decide wheter to move in and have the renovations done around us, or hold on to our rental and live there while the renovations occur. If we stay in our current rental for an extra 3-4 months, then we will be out of pcoket about $20,000 - 25,000 in extra rent. If we move in, we know the renovations will take longer and be somewhat more expensive because they will have to work around us, but I have no idea how much more.
So my questions are: How much more will renovations cost if the contractor has to work around you vs working on an empty apartment? What else besides costs should we be thinking about as we decide which way to go? Thanks.
I know one thing from experiance and I say GO! You can't imagine how bad it will be for you. I would never stay again. If it were to be just a new kitchen, you could weather that, but anything close to a gut reno would be real bad for you.
We decided to remain in our rental during renovations. Our place does not require a full gut either but we are doing a lot of paint stripping and other restorative work that creates fumes and dust.
Remember that the workers will need to do a full cleanup each day if you are living on premises which will shave off around an hour of work time per day. That will add up fast and the work will take longer as a result.
Also, if you need a completely new kitchen, you need to consider that a gut renovation of that particular area. Tiles will have to come up. Existing cabinets bashed. Etc, etc. As for how much more expensive the reno would be working around you--hard to say. Your contractor will be able to give a ballpark idea based on your scope of work.
Personally, I'd say if you can afford to carry your current rent I'd stay put til the reno is done on your new place. It's a real headache and a major disruption dealing with work being done around you. Every time I visit our new apartment I am happy we didn't try to move in during the chaos that is a renovation.
I would say that the floors, master bedroom and at the master bath need to be done prior to moving in. You can then torture through the rest. This will give you a place to sleep in, but not a place to live in.
Kiddoes in the mix?. Even if not and you can financially swing it, stay in the rental with plenty on new site/fly by time to keep an eye on things.
Do not stay........I was around during a partial renovation and it was hell between the noise, dirt, dust, and general frustration you may encounter when your workers don't show up as frequently as you expect. It's inevitable on every job, but I was much happier when I moved out and then paid them daily visits every morning to check on the progress. Good luck!
You will lose your mind. I promise. Don't stay....you'll regret it.
This is all very helpful, thanks! I see a consensus forming. Anyone want to take the contrarian argument?
No. Do not stay. Work takes much longer and is WAY more messy than you think...
GO. It is unhealthy to be there. The fine dust is indescribable and utterly impossible to contain. You will also slow the work, be miserable, and may find it impossible to remain there creating a real problem as to where you will stay. Go. Go. Go.
No to the contrarian point - the staying gets very old very fast.
Do not stay. I've stayed during past renovations and regretted. This time the apartment was empty and life was so much better & less stressful!
As a contractor I will price a project higher when my clients stay. It costs me much more then if they were to leave. It takes longer which is not good for anyone.
Do the renovations in stages so you can manage, and assume it will take longer, then invest the $25k in savings. In this economy you'll find a better use for the money.
GOOOOOO.....have done both....not worth the 20k youll save
Are you looking for a way out of your marriage? If so, definitely stay in the apartment during the renovation and watch the tension build.
I appreciate everyone's comments. The answer seems pretty clear to me. Thanks.
Oh, and just in case you're not yet completely convinced, let me describe the locker-room that is my reno site--the workers' pants, shoes, socks, newspapers can be found hanging from scaffolds and tucked into closets. And don't get me started on the bathrooms, which have begun to take on an alarming Port Authority privvy quality of late--I don't think the toilet seats have been in the 'down' position for weeks at this point and someone definitely has an aim issue...
As if you needed another person to tell you stay away until it is done...
I wish I had made this thread 3 years ago!
i stayed for a multistage reno that i gc'ed myself in 1993, while a young yup working long hours--it was painful, but i saved hugely, based on the gc'ing and sourcing all materials myself--saved half of costs and was on premises nightly--being on premises allows a daily check of work, such that if being done improperly, intervention can take place prior to expensive, total redo's--being on premises (or visiting daily) speeds up work--contractors know you will see daily evidence of the progress or lack thereof--whatever you do make sure you check progress of your contractor regularly, if not daily, and make sure he/she knows you are doing so--squeaky wheel gets the grease, and if contractor knows you arent around often he will prioritize jobs where client is more attentive
at my older present age i dont know if i could handle this--and the money i saved by not renting, and by gc'ing myself etc, had much greater value to me then--
I'm in the midst of renovations right now and my bathrooms look like bramstar's. When I was doing a site visit and had to pee, I seriously went to Starbucks on my way back. The bathroom is just too gross to even step in.
There is work that we absolutely had to be out of the apartment for, and then work where we could conceivably live at the apartment. Our original plan was to move back on 9/1 and live in one room while the rest of the work continued for another six weeks.
Even though we both spend 12-16 hours a day at work and have a lot of upcoming travel, I don't think we can have any quality of life with this renovation going on.
If you think you'll need 3-4 months, find a sublet for 6 months. Trust me, you'll want it.