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Dear Katy and Steve,

It depends. I am sorry, but it not a straight forward answer. You mentioned that it will be only for ‘few weeks’, but how many weeks exactly? Have your contractor provided a programme? Depending on the duration of the works, you may be able to evaluate whether this is something that you can tolerate of whether you need to find a temporary nest.

The works involve a larger bifold door, unless the door has been ordered already, these type of doors tend to have a lead time exceeding five week (if it is a standard size), otherwise, you could potentially expect up anything from eight to twelve weeks. The contractor won’t be able to complete their works until the new doors are installed. This is something to keep in mind.

Also, please keep in mind that even if the works are downstairs, it will get dusty everywhere. You will find dust in places that will make no sense regardless of how much you try to keep things clean. It will be dusty, noisy, uncomfortable and it could potentially slow down the contractor. I surely hope you and your hubby are not planning to work from home.

If there is possibility to stay somewhere else, then I would suggest that you do so, is the best solution all around.

If you decide to stay, then ask the following questions to your builder: How long exactly will the work take? Will they need to disconnect the services during the works? What are the working hours? Whist the kitchen is unavailable can they provide a temporary sink in another space?

You may not need a hob and you’re planning to get delicious takeaways or Waitrose’s ready meals, but you may need to clean the dishes and cutlery. You only appreciate how much you use the  kitchen sink the moment you do not have one available.

If you are worried about the cost of having to pay for accommodations for the entire duration of the works then I would suggest, that you plan to have a few days away and few days at home.

Best, Alma

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The word ‘Alma’ can be a given name, but in this case, it represents an idea. It means ‘soul’ in Spanish. The purpose of this column is to help, always remembering that the person asking may not be familiar with construction terminologies and it is seeking for a straight forward answer, but also for a touch of empathy and understanding.

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