The way restoration companies can restore your house after part of it has been damaged by fire is amazing, but it can take time, even if the damage was limited to smoke, water, and fire-extinguisher foam. You have a decision to make regarding where to stay while the work is being done. Sometimes it is possible to stay in your home, but you need to think about this carefully. The extent of the damage is not the only consideration.

The Smoke Smell

You need to evaluate just how bad the smoke smell is to you and think about whether it would bother others you come into contact with. If your house smells like smoke and you stay in the house, chances are your clothes could start to smell of smoke as well. That could bother your coworkers, especially any who have respiratory conditions. It could also start to bother you as you have to deal with it constantly. If you think there could be any problem with the smell, you should look at staying somewhere else. Your homeowner's or renter's insurance policy may cover some of that cost.

Camping Out

Even if the structure of the house is still OK, what are the bathrooms and kitchen like? Do they need to be restored? If you're not going to have a working bathroom, you can't stay there. If the bathroom is fine but the kitchen is not, how good are you at using a makeshift kitchen with a small fridge and microwave? If that's going to be too difficult for you to use for several weeks, for example, go elsewhere. On the other hand, if you're just fine with that setup, then you may be able to stay in your home while the restoration work is going on.

Money Issues

Good homeowner's and renter's insurance should cover at least part of the cost of lodging while your home is being restored. However, if you didn't have insurance or your policy doesn't cover enough to let you go elsewhere (e.g., it covers half but you can't pay for the other half), then you may have no choice but to stay at home or to contact a neighbor or friend.

Everyone is going to have a different situation, and different solutions exist (e.g., hotel, short-term rental, home-sharing service, trailer rental, and so on). Talk to a fire damage restoration company about what needs to be done, how long it might take, and whether it's possible for you to stay while they are completing the work. If it's important to you to be able to stay in your home during the restoration phase, let the company know why. They may be able to work something out with you.