The Pros and Cons of Living In a Renovation Project
Tips & Tricks

The Pros and Cons of Living In a Renovation Project

Renovating a property is a very popular challenge for first-time buyers and many owners already on the property ladder. Homes in need of renovation are typically cheaper than those in better condition, meaning they provide greater value and offer a real investment opportunity for buyers. However, there is always a fine balance to find between taking on a project that would require you to live elsewhere and one that would allow you to live on-site during renovations. With this in mind, below we explore the pros and cons associated with living onsite during a renovation project, first discussing when you should absolutely avoid it.

When should you not live on-site?

Living on-site is only a realistic option if the property is in a habitable condition and will be for the duration of the project. For example, if you’re only going to do decorative and largely superficial work then you should be able to live comfortably enough while the process is ongoing. 

If the property you are taking on needs fundamental or structural attention, the environment is less likely to be habitable and could be bad for your health – this is particularly the case in older properties where substances like asbestos may be present and disturbed during building work. So, if you’re happy that your property is safe enough to live in whilst you renovate – what are some of the pros and cons of doing just that?


Save money

The biggest benefit of living in your property whilst renovating it is the cost-saving you can afford from not having to live elsewhere during the project. With the rising cost of renting, even for tiny apartments or house shares, living in your property allows you to retain hundreds if not thousands per month. This money can be used to invest in the renovation or put into savings for your future. This benefit alone can be enough for people to take on the challenge.

More time on site

Another plus is your ability to spend more time on-site during the process. This can help you to do more DIY, plan your spaces more thoroughly and learn the project from the inside out. Just spending time somewhere gives you new perspectives that you wouldn’t notice on shorter visits and this can be crucial when spotting elements that need improving or replacing.

Project management

On a similar note, living in the property gives you the upper hand in terms of project management, not only because you spend more time on site, but because you can work more closely with contractors. Managing the various parties working on a project can be stressful and requires significant amounts of time – this burden can be eased slightly by living in the property, although it does have its downsides.


Less privacy

If your renovation project needs a few contractors onsite to complete tasks then your sense of privacy can be impacted. Some jobs may take days or weeks to complete and this can make your home feel a bit less homely – although there will be an end goal in sight.

Living conditions

The environment that you live in can be temporarily tainted by renovation works. People with experience doing this say to be prepared for the dust because it gets everywhere. You may also have to go weeks or months without appliances and utilities which can be very disruptive. Even with light decorative work, the smell of paint around the house can last for days and isn’t the best thing to inhale. Consider what level of living conditions you may subject yourself to and decide if you can live that way for the duration of the project.

Hard to take a break

Finally, living on-site can make it difficult to get a break from the experience. If you’re working a job during the project too, coming home to a renovation site can be demoralizing. Of course, you can always stay with friends or family for a bit of respite if the project is taking its toll. You may just absolutely love the whole experience and relish every second you spend in your property – sometimes you just have to try it and find out.

Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

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