Renovating The Home You Are Staying In? Here's What You Should Know...

Peeling walls, dulled colours, archaic furniture, lack of space, new additions to the family – the reasons to undertake this major task of renovating a home your already reside in, could be many. But as soon as the need for a change crosses one’s mind, there's also doubt, stress and thoughts of 'How would we manage to stay here?', 'Should we move out or stay in?' 'How long will the work last....?' etc. etc.

 minor home renovation in india

Here's What You Need To Consider When Opting For Renovating The Home You are Staying In:

Of course, before going ahead, one needs to make a plan, giving due consideration to various factors, like the ones mentioned above, or the ones shared below.... Oh BTW, we've a cool visual summary awaiting you at the end of this post as well... we hope you'll like it!

1. Extent of the project:

What all needs to be changed? How much of your current decor/interiors could be kept intact? etc. Minor renovations like a paint job, small changes to furniture, minor civil work (extending the balcony), installation of fancy lamps, chandeliers, etc. don’t need much time, and are less demanding on the pocket too.

On the other hand, a full-fledged renovation plan, involving changes to the flooring, attaching a false ceiling, a new wardrobe in the bedroom, installing a modular kitchen, revamping the living room, etc. needs more thought.

2. Budget:

It is necessary to decide upon a budget, before going ahead. Major renovations last at least 3-4 months, and entail expenses in a few lakhs at least! Depending upon the choice of furniture, the quality of flooring paints being used, lights, lamps and other fixtures, this amount would vary.

So, How Do You Proceed?

Home renovation is a mammoth task, and also one that involves skill. This makes it essential you hire a professional who is adept at handling such projects. Getting the right designer is crucial!

Also, having the right interior designer makes it easier for you to plan the entire project. You can make an informed choice of what would, and would not work for your home.

Once the decision has been made, it is necessary to tackle another dilemma that most people face – whether one should live elsewhere during the renovations, or in the same place.

Typically, if a house has one or two inhabitants, the situation is not as taxing as in the case of a family including children. Similarly, if the inhabitants are employed, they can avoid the mess during the day, except on weekends. Staying at a relative’s place or renting an apartment for the duration of the renovation work, are other possible alternatives.

Let us look at each of the alternatives and what they would mean:

 Renovating-Your-House

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When Staying In The House You Are Renovating...

More Control:

For us, Indians, ‘value for money’ is an important aspect of any decision. We like to keep abreast of developments, especially in matters that directly affect us. Staying home during the renovation process aids this mind-set.

Despite handing over the reins to the interior designer, it is essential to make sure that the execution is as per the plan agreed upon. One can also keep an eye on the labourers , and ensure some measure of discipline, in the temporary absence of the designer. Another major factor that can be kept in check is the timeline. If the owner of the house is around, he/she can push the workers and the designer to get the house ready faster or withing what has been agreed upon.

Dealing with Heat and Dust:

The process of renovating a home is tedious. Workers stream in and out, tools in hand. The house is covered in dust and debris. Living in such a mess can be annoying. If someone is prone to allergies, staying home during renovations can be a nightmare. Managing children in such an environment is impossible, owing to restricted space. Older people can also have a tough time, since their immunity is already compromised owing to the age factor.

Lack of Peace, Privacy and Space:

In case of major renovations which involve the whole house, it is difficult to expect privacy. Since most of the work continues well into the evening and cleaning up also takes sufficient time, one can only expect to get a (reasonably) good night’s sleep before it all begins again.

For instance, the kitchen is usually the most important space, given that food is an important part of life. It would be impossible to cook, in a place that is broken down. The living room is a space meant for relaxation and socializing. If this room is being renovated, you are deprived of entertainment, and if the place under renovation is your bedroom, well say bye-bye to your privacy and comfort, since your clothes, accessories, bed, they all are in here! Though, a makeshift bed could be arranged, by spreading a mattress in the living room, but it's not the same thing, right?

 moving out of a home you are renovating

When Moving Out Of Your House While Renovating It...

Escape the discomfort:

By choosing to move out, one can escape the dust and grime. By choosing to stay out, also allows the workers and the designer to work more freely, without having to worry about the owner’s well being. It also adds to their comfort level.

But then it also means Lack of Control:

While this isn’t always the case, if the owner isn’t around, the workers can become lazy and avoid adhering to the agreed timeline. Interior designers generally take up multiple projects, dividing their time between various locations. It is impossible for the designer to stay at the same place throughout the designated duration. Unless the owner plans surprise visits to the house, it is possible that the project may get delayed. However, a good interior designer will ensure this doesn't happen and the owner is not hassled by such issues.

More time in decision making:

Moving out often means that certain decision making gets delayed when it comes to freezing upon a design, or a quick call to be taken on an alternative laminate to be used, etc. which could otherwise be taken on the spot, if you are staying in.

Increase in expenses & Travel:

If you choose to rent another apartment during the renovations, it can prove to be quite an expensive affair. Also, if the rented apartment is in another part of the city, one could face a whole new set of problems, like proximity to the railway station or one’s place of work or school, finding stores for grocery shopping, getting used to a new locality, etc. Not to mention the travel time required to reach your actual home being renovated. 

Obviously, a less financially cumbersome alternative to this, if feasible, is living with a relative. Of course if the relatives we have are inviting enough ;)

So, what do you do... Stay in or Move out?

Given how choosing either has its own advantages and disadvantages, it is essential to take an informed decision, and take precautions.

Let’s discuss how life can be made easier, with the right plan.

If you choose to stay in:

  1. Demarcate a spot in the house which is protected from the chaos, dust and debris. This could be a room, where no work gets done, or even a corner in the living room or the bedroom, which doesn’t need much work. Speak to your designer on how to have such an area, where you can literally 'breathe easy'!

  2. Instruct the interior designer to keep the house as dust-free as possible. Now, this is difficult, but with some management, this is not an impossible task.
     
  3. To protect floors from paint, dust and debris, cover them with floor protection sheets, or  coat of Plaster of Paris, which can be easily scrapped later.

  4. If the kitchen is being remodeled, and you aren’t so much into restaurant food or tiffing services, invest in an induction cook-top, a toaster, a microwave and disposable utensils. Easy to make, pre-processed foods are available in the market, and don’t taste that bad.
     
  5. In case of the living room being renovated, make sure that the furniture is adequately protected. Appliances such as the TV, music systems, etc. should be covered in plastic and stored in a place which needs minimum work. Frames, vases, fancy lamps, chandeliers that aren’t meant to be discarded, should be stored in the carefully in places which are free from any work. Get LED bulbs temporarily fixed to ensure adequate light.
     
  6. If the bedroom is off limits, ensure that you have a make-shift bed – a mattress and clean covers. It is also ideal to invest in a collapsible/folding wardrobe that can be moved around easily, and can hold essential clothes and accessories.

  7. In case of children, it is necessary to lay down some guidelines about the space constraints. If they are prone to allergies, ensure that you have face masks handy, to reduce exposure to dust.
     
  8. Make sure that the project schedule is noted by the designer. By keeping abreast of everyday developments, it becomes easier to ensure timely completion.
     
  9. At the end of the day, after cleaning up the house, ensure that the building premises are kept clean. Accumulate all the garbage, wrapped in plastic, in a particular spot. Your home renovations should not inconvenience your neighbours.

If you choose to stay out:

  1. Evaluate your alternatives. If you have to rent an apartment, try to zero down on a location close by. This will cause minimal changes to your lifestyle. If you are living with relatives, discuss it with them well in advance.
     
  2. Plan surprise visits to the house, to make sure that the workers are not slacking off. Be in touch with the designer to ensure that work is on track.
     
  3. Move all valuables like jewellery, cash, important personal documents to the bank locker.
     
  4. Make sure that appliances like the TV, water purifier, sound system, DVD players, etc. are adequately covered. Delicate articles, fancy lamps, chandeliers, cutlery and other breakable items, must be covered and stored on a shelf of place where no work is required.
     
  5. If there are no changes to the flooring, cover it up with floor protection sheets. These normally last for a good three months. Your interior designer can also guide you with all this.
     
  6. Instruct the workers to avoid dumping debris and other garbage in the building premises.
     
  7. It is ideal to ask a neighbour to visit the house occasionally, and keep you updated.

In order to ensure that the renovation process is completed with minimum glitches, it is essential to plan in advance. Whether you stay in, or out, make sure you have the right interior designer - Remember, a good designer can take away all the hassles and make the stressful time of home renovation as easy as possible. Wondering where to find one? Click here to book a consultation with one such expert interior designer!

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Need a Visual Guide to Keep these points in mind... Well, here's a quick deck summarizing it all...