how to renovate a house while living in it

Renovate and Reside: Mastering the Art of Living on Site While Renovating a House 

Posted by Craig | Updated July, 2024 | 12 Min Read Time

At a glance 

  • Living in a house while renovating it will have its challenges, so creating “places of peace” is essential


In this article, you’ll find the following:

  • Top tips for your places of peace 
  • Planning aspects that are crucial for a renovation timeline
  • Budget and financing impact on project length
  • Choosing professional builders is essential

Taking on a house renovation can be an exciting journey, transforming your living space into the dream home you envisage. However, homeowners often wonder how long the process will take and if there’s any chance of peace throughout the project.

The duration of a renovation varies greatly, depending on factors such as the scale of the project, the availability of materials, and the efficiency of the local contractors.

A clear and accurate plan is essential for a smooth process ( do not underestimate this! ). A thorough plan includes setting a realistic timeline, considering potential delays due to unforeseen circumstances, and determining how to live comfortably during this process.

We have included some great ideas!

A home renovation project Cj Smiths completed last year
A previous home renovation project Cj Smiths completed

Homeowners Should Create A Designated 'Liveable' Space That Remains Unaffected By The Chaos Of Construction.

Considering Selling? Could a Renovation Increase Your Home’s Value First? 

What Is a House Renovation and How to Comfortably Live Through the Process?

A house renovation is the process of revitalising and updating an existing home structure or appearance. It can range from minor updates, like painting walls, to major overhauls that include structural rebuilds or room additions. 

Living comfortably through a renovation requires careful planning. Homeowners should create a designated ‘liveable‘ space that remains unaffected by the chaos of construction. It’s essential to maintain a part of the home where daily routines can continue as normal.

Lastly, homeowners should consider the impact on lifestyle and prepare for adjustments. Dust and noise are inevitable, so having solutions, such as air filters and noise-cancelling headphones, aids in maintaining comfort. Being prepared helps ensure the project is as smooth as possible.

Let us dive in!

Collyer Road kitchen extensions
Collyer Road kitchen extension completed by CJ Smiths

Carving Out "Places Of Peace" Ready For The Chaos To Begin!

A renovation journey marks the beginning of a transformative adventure, turning the place you call home into the sanctuary you’ve always dreamed of. Yet, amidst the excitement, a common question lingers—how to find moments of tranquillity in the whirlwind of change?

The answer lies in preemptively carving out “Places of Peace,” small DIY oases where you can retreat and recharge, avoiding the need to rent as the improvements unfold around you.

With meticulous planning and a dash of creativity, these sanctuaries become your personal havens, ensuring the journey to your dream home includes pockets of serenity amidst the chaos. Let’s explore them below…

Tranquil Retreat Corner

Designate a small area in your home or garden that’s untouched by the building work as your personal retreat. Fill it with comfortable seating, calming music, and some of your favourite books or hobbies. Board games are great for your tranquil retreats.

Scented Sanctuary

Invest in an essential oil diffuser and curate a collection of calming scents. Aromatherapy can transform even a temporary space into a soothing sanctuary away from the dust and noise of a busy remodelling project.

Mindfulness Moments

Subscribe to a meditation or mindfulness app ( such as the Calm app ) and carve out time each day to practice. Whether it’s in your makeshift tranquil corner, a park, or even in your car, taking this time can significantly reduce stress, making the overall project a lot more enjoyable. 

Making A Dash For It With An Escape Bag

Sometimes, it’s just better to get away! Pack an “escape bag” with everything you need for a spontaneous day out or a relaxing evening elsewhere. Include a change of clothes, toiletries, a good book, and anything else that brings you comfort. This idea is a winner!

Now Its Time To Map Out Your Renovation Journey 

Thorough planning is crucial before undertaking a project of this scale. It involves understanding the necessity of planning permission and selecting a competent architect or designer to guide the project—something CJ Smiths can help with! 

If you need assistance, be sure to contact us as we’d be happy to help out! 

“We recently used CJ Smiths for an extension and full house renovation. From the first meeting, to completing the project, we found Craig and his team absolutely faultless.”

Decoding Planning Permission for Your Renovation

Planning permission is a significant step in the process. It is required when making major changes to a property’s structure or building an extension. Individuals should consult the local planning authority as early as possible to determine if their project needs permission.

Not all improvement work requires planning consent, but it is important to verify whether the proposed changes fall under permitted development rights or require a full planning application.

Selecting the Perfect Design Duo: Architect and Designer Insights

Selecting the right professionals is essential for a successful project. An architect or designer not only turns the homeowner’s ideas into practical designs but also helps navigate regulations and the planning process.

They should be involved from the early stages, offering advice on the feasibility of the plans and often leading the consultation with the local planning authority. A well-chosen architect will also prepare the necessary documents for the planning application to secure planning consent.

Navigating Budgets and Financing Your Dream Renovation

When planning, two critical aspects to consider are the accurate calculation of costs and the selection of appropriate financing options. Both are vital to ensure the process is smoothly managed without financial strain.

Another loft renovation CJ Smiths has completed
Another loft renovation CJ Smiths has completed

Breaking Down the Costs: A Guide to Estimating Your Renovation

Renovating a property requires careful cost calculation to stay within one’s budget. The average cost for a three-bedroom house is approximately £84,500, but it’s recommended to add a 10-15% contingency for unforeseen expenses.

Costs encompass materials, labour, and any additional fees for permits or professional services. Homeowners should itemise each aspect of the renovation to ensure all elements are accounted for in the budget.

Loan Smarts: Financing Options for Your Home Makeover

Financing a project often involves taking out a loan, and there are several options available. It is important to compare the best home loans and lenders to find a favourable interest rate and repayment terms that suit the individual’s financial situation.

These loan options might include personal loans, homeowner loans, or home equity loans, each with its own advantages and considerations. Potential borrowers should ensure they understand the terms and implications of each loan option before making a commitment.

Material Matters: Choosing the Right Foundations for Your Renovation

Selecting the right materials and contractors is crucial to ensuring a successful project. The materials chosen must meet both the structural requirements and aesthetic vision, while the builders should bring experience, reliability, and skill to the execution.

A Professionally Completed Home Renovation Could Increase Your Properties Value By Up To 8%

The Quest for Quality: Picking Prime Materials

Homeowners must select materials that ensure longevity and reflect their personal style. For instance, choosing the right type of tile can impact the durability and appearance of a kitchen or bathroom. Builders often recommend porcelain or ceramic tiles due to their resilience and ease of maintenance. Additionally, the grade of timber used in construction must be appropriate for its intended use, be it structural support or fine joinery.

Teaming Up with the Best: Finding Trustworthy Contractors

The success of a renovation often hinges on the skill and reliability of the contractors hired. It is advisable to check the credentials and references of potential tradespeople. Homeowners should look for builders with a proven track record of completing projects on time and to a high standard. Established tradespeople will often provide a clear quotation and a timeline for the work to be carried out. It’s essential to communicate effectively with the contractors to ensure that they understand the vision for the project.

Blueprints to Reality: Crafting Your Dream Home

Designing one’s dream home is a detail-oriented process that demands both creativity and practicality. It involves careful consideration of each room’s function, the overall layout, and the desired aesthetic.

Two key areas that often require special attention are the kitchen and bathroom, which can significantly influence the final feel and functionality of the home.

A large kitchen extension and renovation CJ Smiths completed on Hatfield Road
A large kitchen extension and renovation CJ Smiths completed on Hatfield Road

Transforming Kitchens and Baths: The Heart of Renovation

When it comes to the kitchen, it’s essential to think about the workflow and appliances like microwaves, blenders and juicers. The ideal layout usually follows the “Golden Triangle” principle, which suggests that the cooker, sink, and refrigerator should be placed in a triangular formation for maximum efficiency.

A bathroom remodel should focus on optimising space and upgrading fixtures to create a balance between luxury and functionality. For both rooms, selecting durable and high-quality materials can make a difference in longevity and style.

Rethinking Your Living Spaces: Layouts for Life

For the living room, one must ensure comfort while maintaining a sense of personal style. Furniture should be arranged to promote social interaction while allowing easy movement throughout one room. The bedroom, on the other hand, should be designed as a tranquil retreat, with careful consideration given to the placement of the bed to maximise comfort and aesthetics.

Storage solutions in both spaces are crucial to maintaining a clutter-free environment that contributes to a serene and welcoming atmosphere.

Guiding the Build: Mastering the Construction Management

Cj Smiths proved to these clients how to renovate a house while living in it by providing them a spare room
Cj Smiths moved the kitchen allowing the clients to live in the property while the build was going on

Keeping Time on Your Side: Managing Schedules and Delays

The construction schedule outlines the sequence and timing of every task, from structural work to external work. Managers must routinely assess the project’s current condition and adjust the work schedule accordingly.

Unexpected delays must be managed proactively; for example, if structural issues arise, they can significantly impact the overall timeline. It’s essential to factor in buffer periods within the schedule to accommodate such setbacks.

The Final Flourish: Quality Checks and Finishing Touches

Upon nearing completion of the major building work, attention to quality control becomes paramount. The process of snagging involves a thorough inspection to identify and rectify any deficiencies before the final handover. 

Finishing touches are critical for transforming your building site into a polished and habitable space. This phase requires a keen eye for detail to ensure all elements, from the roof to the plumbing installations, are executed excellently. Quality assurance during this phase solidifies the success of the project.

Wrapping Up: Key Takeaways for a Successful Renovation

The duration of a renovation project can vary significantly based on numerous factors. Individual project scope heavily influences timelines, so creating “places of peace” is crucial to survive living in a home while renovating it. 

To sum up, homeowners should anticipate a broad time frame for completion and be prepared for intense situations to arise. Thorough planning and a buffer for unforeseen events are a must. It’s essential to account for the complexity of tasks, as tasks like simple redecoration will generally take less time compared to structural changes or full restorations.

It’s now time for you to create your temporary living space, “places of peace,” and get ready for your home renovation project to begin!

Feel free to reach out to us for your next project. We’d love to help.


Craig Smith

The founder of CJ Smiths Construction Company for over 14+ years and a proud citizen of St Albans City.

Table of Contents

Struggling To Find A Reliable Builder For Your Home Renovation?

Scan the code