Tips to living on site

When you undertake a drastic renovation of an existing one, you will need somewhere warm, safe and dry to rest your head each night. Although moving off the site and living in alternative accommodation while you build might be the best idea, it isn’t always feasible. So what should you do if you are forced to live among the rubble of your project?

Good organisation, realistic expectations of timescales and a sound understanding of what you are letting yourselves in for all help to minimise the stress of living on site.

Plan Ahead

Take time to think about cooking facilities, heating, your space requirements, bathroom facilities and the like so that the whole process runs smoothly. It is easy to just jump into on-site living hoping things will just work out, but this is a sure-fire way to increase stress levels.

It is also more important than ever to have detailed schedule of works when you are living on site. If you are living in a half built home, working out at which stages during the build you might be without water or power is crucial, as is taking into consideration how you will cope from a heat point of view in the winter months.

Think Outside the Box

If you are building or renovating a house that includes a garage, consider fitting this out as temporary accommodation. Another popular option is to build a garden room in which to live during your building project. Many are delivered in kit form and after the build can later become an office or teenagers’ den. If you have any existing outbuildings then it makes sense to explore the possibility of converting these into a temporary home — or at the very least to use them for storing your belongings.

Remember On Site Storage

You will need to store all your belongings while the house takes shape. Using outbuildings or a garage can be an option, but you will also need somewhere to store tools and building materials. Self-storage companies offer a cheaper and more convenient option for those wanting easy access to their belongings than arranging for a removals company to store your things in a warehouse.Containers range in size (usually from 25 square feet up to 200 square feet) and rates vary so get a few quotes beforehand.


Have a Retreat

Although you may begin the on-site living experience feeling excited about the prospect of ‘being at one with nature’, this is a feeling that soon subsides when bad weather hits or long delays crop up. It is important that there is one space that feels like a retreat from the chaos of the building site. If you plan on remaining in a house during renovation or extension, this might mean sectioning off one area of the house from dust and debris for the majority of the project even having just one room that can be kept clean, tidy and cosy will make all the difference.

Ensure You Have Water and Power

Living on site means you must have your basic needs catered for. Plan your service connections in advance this means water, electricity and/or gas, waste water and a telephone or internet connection.

Put Site Safety First

If you are living on site with children, you will need to be extra vigilant about keeping the site safe. Set out no-go zones.

Have a Back-up Plan

Having close family and friends nearby who you can stay with for a night or two while a roof gets put in place, or in particularly bad weather, can be a lifesaver, as can a nearby café or hotel.