Sleeping with your renovation

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You’ve chosen the tile and the contractor. Now, should you stay or should you go?  

Jeannine Williams, a Manhattan interior designer who also oversees construction, recommends moving out for the first three-quarters of a renovation project if more than half of your apartment is being renovated.

But even if your job is smaller, it’s a good idea to seek refuge elsewhere at the following times:

Demolition: Knocking down walls is dirty, dusty, lung-polluting business.  And your presence shortens your crew's workday, because they need to clean up at the end of their shift. Plan on returning after the framing when the sheetrock goes up.

No bathroom: You can’t rig up a temporary bathroom, and the health club isn’t good enough for the middle of the night, so plan to exit when your lavatory does: “As long as you have all the materials there before they demo the bathroom, the turnaround can be pretty quick, like a week or two,” says Jeannine.

Floor refinishing:  Even if there are enough non-wood surfaces for you to get around on, you’ll heave to deal with the dust and the smell. Plan on leaving for at least a week.

Tip: Craigslist is a great resource for inexpensive short-term furnished apartments at a moment’s notice.

When did you leave (or wish you would have) during your renovation? Where did you go, how did you find it, and how much did it cost?

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