To Stay or Go. The Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Go Through a Kitchen Remodel

If a remodel is on your horizon and you’re considering whether to stay or find alternate accommodations during the construction, it’s important to note that there are benefits and challenges to either situation.


  • Get ready for dust. Even when a conscientious contractor seals off the rooms being worked in, dust and dirt will still make its way out. An air purifier can help keep air particles at bay, though not completely.
  • Be prepared.  Ask questions, and understand the good bad and ugly of a remodel and how you’re likely to handle all of the facets, while continuing to live in a space under construction.
  • Create an alternate cooking location. Set up a cooking area where you can easily prepare simple meals so that eating out isn’t absolutely necessary. Even with the best set-ups, you’ll likely eat out some, but a microwave, toaster oven and dish washing station will help you create meals for when you just don’t feel like going out. Many times a garage set-up works as there’s enough space to have a temporary refrigerator.
  • Have a plan for managing stress. Know that living in a home while it’s under construction is going to come with some stress. There will be people in your space, your typical routine will be disrupted. Make sure you’re communicating your pain points and have a plan for how you can best manage with the disruption.
  • Have an eating-out budget. Even the clients that plan an alternate cooking station, sometimes just want to sit at a comfortable table and have a meal that they didn’t have to cobble together. Ensure your kitchen remodel budget allows for opportunities to have someone wait on you.
  • Monitor the project’s progress. One benefit of being in the space is to be able to monitor the project and be able to ask timely questions or express any concerns. It’s exciting to come home and see the day’s progress.
  • It’s always smart to have one construction-free zone. Having an area that is closed off from the construction will help you keep your sanity while other things are a mess. Think of it as a retreat.
  • Have a plan. Be prepared to run to a motel for a brief staycation if circumstances are getting to your family. It’s amazing what a clean space, and possibly a pool can do for young kids in renewing the spirit.


  • Have a plan for managing stress. While you’ll likely avoid the day-to-day stress of living through a remodel, there is still the stress of being in a new space, not having all your stuff available, and generally feeling displaced.
  • Plan for delays. Even the best planned project can have unexpected delays. Things like dry rot, can only be discovered once the walls are opened up. Findings like these can be very upsetting and potentially a costly addition to a budget if you have to fix things on the fly.
  • Expect extra costs. Moving out typically means renting another place, while you’re still paying the mortgage. You’ll save money on eating out though, if the place you’re renting has a fully loaded kitchen.
  • More hands-off of the project. If the idea of living through a remodel has you feeling faint, moving out will give you the space to visit the project, yet avoid the pain points that come with construction.
  • Find flexible housing. Ensure the place you’re staying can accommodate you if the project runs long. While most contractors don’t intentionally deceive you on timing, remodeling comes with a fair amount of the unknown. Dry rot and the like won’t be found until the walls are opened up.

There’s no one size fit’s all answer for the stay or go question. So much depends on your family, your flexibility and your budget. Find more tips on our blog that we’ve gleaned in over 40 years of remodeling.

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